Slovenia: “We shouldn’t even participate in Eurovision for years” says councilor of RTVSLO!

Sašo Hribar, councilor of Slovenia’s public broadcaster – RTVSLO, caused quite a stir at the last council meeting, by stating that they “should not participate in Eurovision for several years, because no one takes responsibility for poor rankings year after year”.

The Slovene news website novice.svet24 invited Vanja Vardjan, editor-in-chief of RTV Slovenia’s entertainment program, in a conversation about Eurovision and Slovenia’s relationship with it.

How much does Eurovision cost – how much money was spent last year? What are the costs for organizing our national final, EMA, and what are the costs for participating in Eurovision?

The total expenditure is 208 thousand euros, of which a little more than 89 thousand euros for EMA and a little less than 119 thousand euros for the performance at the Eurovision Song Contest. These costs cover the entire production of EMA and the preparation and performance at the Eurovision Song Contest. Included in these costs are accommodation costs, travel costs, all costs related to the performance itself and the registration fee. The entry fee is approximately 40% of the cost of performing at the Eurovision Song Contest. At the same time, it is worth pointing out that our expenditure is among the three lowest of the approximately 40 delegations every year.

This year, Slovenia has already confirmed that it will participate – will we choose our representative through EMA again?

Yes, we are going with our national final, οnce again!

Do you have any information on how many Slovenian viewers watched the broadcast of EMA and how many watched the broadcast of Eurovision?

Just under 242,000 viewers watched EMA this year, and 147,000 viewers for each of the two semi-finals. Eurovision had a total of 239 thousand viewers. These numbers do not include online monitoring, of which Slovenia has one of the highest percentages among other EBU members. In this way, we fulfill one of the greatest goals of RTV Slovenia: increasing the monitoring of our content on other platforms and acquiring younger groups of viewers. Especially in the case of the latter, the EMA FREŠ, EMA and Eurovision Song Contest is well above the average of TV Slovenia.

Not long ago, at the program council of RTV, councilor Sašo Hribar said that “we should not participate in Eurovision for a few years, because no one takes responsibility for poor rankings year after year”. Has RTV Slovenia already considered not participating in Eurovision?

Program councilor Sašo Hribar is probably not well informed about the results of our performers at the Eurovision Song Contest, although he had the opportunity to learn about it. That’s why we are providing you with the data for the last ten performances, which were also forwarded to the music committee of the Program Council of RTV Slovenia: Slovenia is in the middle of all participants with five placements in the finals. Austria, Albania, Israel, Poland and Switzerland also have the same number of rankings, countries that are far above us both in terms of population and investment in this project. For example, Ireland and Bulgaria have fewer places in the finals than Slovenia. Slovakia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Turkey participated only twice in this period, so they are not in the ranking. Of the countries of the former Yugoslavia, only Serbia reached more finals in this period. Considering the invested resources, which are minor compared to other countries in the Eurovision Song Contest, this is a good result. According to the analogy advocated by some, including councilor Sašo Hribar, due to much worse results, we should have also given up performances in the qualifications for the European and World Cup in football, as well as broadcasts from the championships themselves. The Eurovision Song Contest is like the European and World Cup in football, the biggest musical event in the world.

What do we, as the country of Slovenia and RTVSLO, get from performing at Eurovision? Why is it good that we are there?

As I said, it is the biggest music event in the world, which is watched live by more than 300 million people, and even more online, and if this is not a enough to promote Slovenia and its music, then I really don’t know what else could be. On the other hand, we also encourage musical creation, as more than 100 musicians and groups submit their compositions to EMA every year.

Why don’t we participate in Junior Eurovision anymore?

Because it is a music competition that is watched and attended by one-third of Eurovision’s audience.

Could RTV Slovenia even afford to win and host the Eurovision Song Contest – from an organizational and financial point of view? Do we even have a suitable hall?

We have such a hall, the Stožice venue. Also, from the knowledge that our colleagues have shown during some really demanding projects for the transmission of sports events, and our transmission teams in the biggest sports events abroad, we have proved ourselves to be suitable to host.

We remind you that the winners of EMA 2022 and Slovenia’s representatives in Eurovision 2022 were LPS with the song “Disko” that ended up last in the first semi-final:

Stay tuned on Eurovisionfun for all the news regarding the Slovene participation at the Eurovision Song Contest 2023, in Liverpool!


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