EBU: The Announcement on Eurovision 2020 Songs

In a statement on social media, EBU clarified some of those suspended after the contest was canceled. EBU’s intention is to honor the songs and artists of Eurovision 2020!

The announcement

In particular, the statement mentions:

Thus, it is clear that the choice of its representative for 2021 is left to each country’s delegation . It was also clarified whether  they would compete for the same songs this year.

We look forward to the latest from EBU regarding this initiative in the coming weeks!



Breaking News: Eurovision 2020 is officially cancelled

Despite the information we had that EBU was considering moving to the contest in August, shortly before an official announcement, Eurovision 2020 was canceled, with no further information on what will happen to this year’s entries.

The announcement shows that Rotterdam will once again be the host city of the competition in 2021. Unfortunately it is the first time in the 65-year history of the Eurovision competition that the annual Europe Music Festival will not take place.

On the official website of the contest there are some questions and answers that came up after the cancellation.

-Of course, it is also planned to have a refund for those who purchased the ticket.
-Rotterdam seems to remain as a host city in 2021 as well.
-The topic of the songs and the artists and whether these will be the participations of countries and time will be discussed in the Reference Group.
-The EBU explains that it was finally unable to transfer it at a later date, as they are unsure whether it will be safe for all delegations, journalists and fans.
-They rejected the idea of ​​a non-public contest, as this would remove the main component of the event, the live public participation in the arena.
-The dates of the competition in 2021 will be announced in due time.

We look forward to the next announcements, which will clarify all the details!


EBU: Reference Group meeting for Coronavirus and Eurovision 2020 tomorrow | Shots canceled for all postcards

Tomorrow, we probably will have some interesting news regarding the  Eurovision 2020 and the impact that the spread of coronavirus has. As the Czech Public Broadcaster’s official website for the contest announced tomorrow (17\3), the Reference Group is meeting to assess the situation and the new data.

While the pandemic is spreading elsewhere in Europe faster and elsewhere and with daily cancellations or postponements of major sporting and cultural events, the fate of the Eurovision song contest remains still unknown.

According to the latest EBU official announcement, any decisions will be made in April. Based on our own information, the EBU examines various scenarios, of course considering their legal dimension as well. Postponing the competition, however easy it may be in words, is a complicated process.

We do not think that tomorrow there will be a final decision on what is to come with this year’s competition. Both the Dutch organizers and the EBU are in close contact with the relevant health services, while considering alternative scenarios that may need to be implemented.

What is certain is that the postcard shootings that would take place in different parts of the Netherlands at this time will be postponed for the time being. If all goes well, what will become of the Ukrainian model of 2017, when the postcard shooting, was the first week of rehearsals.


Eurovision 2020: This is EBU’s Plan B

Slovenia’s Public Television Managing Director Natalija Gorscak unveiled EBU’s  Plan B for the 65th Eurovision Song Contest. According to Gorscak, if the pandemic continues to spread, then this year’s contest is likely to be held by contestants interpreting their entries from their countries of origin in a television studio.

“At the EBU they are preparing as if Eurovision is normal. I am personally in touch with the administration, which has a plan B in which we will be more involved [the national broadcasters]. In Slovenia, this is supposed to be done in the TV studio.

If this scenario goes ahead, each member will broadcast their participation from a television studio. That’s what they think. Everything is under discussion, but in principle it acts as if Eurovision was in Rotterdam [as originally planned]”

Natalija Gorscak’s statements confirm the previous announcement by the EBU that any official announcements on the issue will take place in mid-April.

This proposed Plan B will be reminiscent of the EBU plan for Russia’s participation in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. Prior to the competition in Kiev, Russia’s Yulia Samoylova was banned from entering Ukraine due to her previous appearance in the disputed region of Ukraine. Crimea. EBU offered Russia the opportunity to appear in the competition using a satellite link between a Russian studio and the main arena in Kiev. However, Russia preferred to withdraw from the competition.

However, it is more likely that the plan the EBU is considering this year will include video performance rather than live performances, as this would even have technical problems for the EBU. In addition, it proposes that the EBU will make every effort to make the contest as planned in May, possibly because logistical issues make it virtually impossible to postpone it for later.



EBU: The announcement for the coronavirus and Eurovision 2020

EBU released an announcement a few minutes ago about the progress on Eurovision 2020 procedures! As is typically stated in the announcement, the work by the organizers continues as normal.

The EBU closely monitors the course of the coronavirus as well as the guidelines provided by the World Health Organization and local authorities. Therefore, the EBU and NOS-AVROTROS-NPO are working closely together at this time. The goal of all parties is to explore possible scenarios for Eurovision 2020!

However, with 2 months to 3 live shows and a rapidly changing situation in both the Netherlands and the countries of the participating broadcasters, it is still too early to make any final decisions.

As one can see, we are in the final line of developments with regard to this year’s Eurovision. Everything is fluid and will largely depend on how the virus spreads. The fact that almost all major events in Europe are on a deferred course is clearly a negative sign.

Eurovision 2020: Sietse Bakker: “Eurovision final may last less”

An interesting interview was given by Eurovision 2020’s executive producer, Sietse Bakker. Speaking at singfestival.bg, he revealed several aspects of the Dutch organizers’ preparation, but also expressed his conviction that unlike his two semifinal contests, the big final lasts long, given that it is always a television program. At the end of the interview, Sietse Bakker said that while he had never been interested in the position of executive supervisor of the contest, he did not rule out the possibility of seeing him succeed Jon Ola Sand.

It was a complete cycle
Prior to taking over as executive producer of Eurovision 2020, Sietse, with his own website designing company, had worked with the EBU on numerous occasions and even served as Supervisor Event. In 2016 he decided to stop. “The first Eurovision Song Contest I attended was in Stockholm, so when it was in Stockholm again in 2016, it was a complete one for me. It was time to quit the competition and get more involved in my own business”.

It all started for one girl 
“It all started when I tried to impress a girl from another class who was a big fan of the competition,” Sietse said when asked where his interest in the competition came from. “I wanted to impress her by making a website mentioning the contest, ESCToday. After attending the Eurovision Song Contest in Riga for the first time in 2003, I was addicted and in the meantime our site had become very big. He didn’t work with the girl, but it was the beginning of my career. “

Proud Dutchman
The Netherlands had a hard time competing, so when asked how Sietse lived up to Duncan’s victory, he said: “AVROTROS has built this beautifully from 2013 onwards, from Anouk to Duncan now winning. Of course this makes us proud, but it’s also a weird feeling. I’m part of the team that has ultimate responsibility is a complete honor, but it’s a very difficult job”.

The final may last less
The most important news that comes out of the interview is Sietse Bakker’s phrase about the duration of the final: “The semifinals are relatively short, but it is true that the final takes a long time and can be less long”.

Does this mean that we will see a shorter broadcast of the Eurovision final, coming to Rotterdam in May? It is worth noting here that the duration of its final competition in recent years is approximately three and a half hours.

Happy with the hosts
“We didn’t find the presenters overnight. We’ve been working since July on who could present it. Everything came to mind: from presenters to singers, actors and dancers. After several meetings, this combination is the best result and we are very proud of this trio “.

More news about hotels coming soon
Sietse Bakker had, of course, to respond to the high hotel prices during the competition. High hotel prices are a problem for many Eurovision fans who would like to watch the event up close. “We have booked 3,000 rooms in the bidding phase, for which we will soon publish more news. Keep in mind that the Netherlands is a relatively small country and you should also look outside Rotterdam for accommodation”.

Successor to Jon Ola Sand?
Will he seek to replace Jon Ola Sand in the future? “I have never pursued this job and now I focus exclusively on the role I have. And for the story, I haven’t been called by the EBU yet”.

You can watch the entire interview below:

EBU: The Catalan broadcaster application to enter EBU was rejected

TV3’s request to become a member of EBU was rejected. The local broadcaster had applied for membership in order to be able to participate in the European Song Contest as an independent broadcaster.

In a letter from the CCMA (Catalonian Corporation of Visual Media) to EBU Vice President Núria Llorach i Boladeras, was declared:

“As you know, the Board of Directors of May 2018 (as decided by the EBU General Assembly in June 2018) concluded that the CCMA does not meet the requirements to become a member of the EBU, since it is not neither a member of the International Telecommunication Union nor a member of the Council of Europe as defined in Article 3.3 of the EBU. The CCMA is a local Spanish broadcaster, failing to comply with Article 3.4, in relation to the “national character and importance” of the EBU Statute “

In its request, the Catalan broadcaster cites several reasons to be taken into account, including references to other broadcasters, such as RTBF (the Belgian-speaking broadcaster) and S4C (the UK-based broadcaster), in which the EBU replied:

“When a country has two or more linguistic areas, the EBU Regulation on detailed eligibility criteria refers to each region separately. The ARD in Germany, the SRG SSR in Switzerland, the VRT and RTBF in Belgium and the S4C in Wales support the territorial characteristics of their respective countries and all comply with the principles stated by the EBU “

EBU also added a number of arguments for each of the members mentioned and provided additional information on the political structure of Spain. In essence, Spain’s administrative division, which is not structured as federations / confederations, blocks the entry of the CCMA into the EBU.


EBU:”EBU discusses change of vote” as TVE’s entertainment director reveals

Toñi Prieto, director of entertainment programs on Spanish public broadcaster, TVE, reveals in an interview today that EBU is conducting a survey among its members – public service broadcasters, on changingthe voting system at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Will the 50-50 system change?

Since 2009, when the jury returned to the contest, having 50% of the final result, there have been few times that the voting system has been criticised.

On the one hand, it is those who believe that five people from every country, even if they are music professionals, cannot have the same say in the outcome, as the rest of the public, who vote by tele-voting. On the contrary, those who claim that the level of songs have gone up since 2009, so-called joke entries (see Ireland 2008, Iceland 2006 etc) have disappeared, with all countries making sure to send good voices, hoping this will be appreciated. from the jury.

What has been active since 2009 with some minor variations is that public and jury have 50% of the final results, both in the final and in the two semifinals.

Toñi Prieto: “The EBU is discussing the change of vote in Eurovision!”
In an interview with Vertele, TVE’s entertainment director Toñi Prieto, among others, says that EBU is in discussions with public television stations to find out what the best voting system is.

The EBU is thinking of turning a vote. They think and discuss with the delegations to find out how we see it. If there is to be a jury, only a jury or only the television audience.

Toñi Prieto, TVE’s entertainment director

EBU: Eurovision Executive Supervisor Wanted | The qualifications required and the responsibilities

Through the official EBU website, the vacancy of Eurovision Executive Supervisor o has been announced, as Jon Ola Sand is known that completes his term in May at Eurovision 2020, which will take place in Rotterdam.

Applications must be submitted by 14 November

The deadline for applicants who want to succeed Jon Ola Sand in the position of Executive Supervisor of Eurovision events expires on 14 November.

Applications will not be accepted after this date, and the EBU will only contact those with the necessary qualifications. Applications are only made electronically through the EBU website.

What are the qualifications of an Executive Supervisor?

The qualifications an executive supervisor must have are varied and multidimensional, as he must be communicative, knowledgeable in political situations, linguistic, ready for many trips and work on vacations and weekends. Of course, he or she must have a television experience of organizing big events, but also be able to manage organized sets and find the right partners. In particular, the notice states:

-The executive supervisor must have a background as a high level media professional. Full experience in complex television entertainment productions, events, digital development and storytelling.
-He must be able to work in an international environment and have strong cultural and political understanding, being able to mitigate intense conflict in the field.
-He\she must have senior management experience, with extensive knowledge of the role of Project Manager.
-He\she must have a strong sense of communication with fluent English and preferably French.
-He\she must be a strong team player capable of working in changing environments and different working conditions.
-He\she must be able fro frequent visits and meetings at EBU headquarters throughout the year. Presence in Geneva (EBU headquarters) about 4 weeks before the start of Eurovision events. Short trips and work during the evenings, weekends and holidays.
-8+ years of experience in the broadcasting environment.
-5+ years of experience in human management (proven track record)

The salary is not mentioned, but it is stressed that it is competitive!

What are the duties of the Executive Supervisor?

If you still have questions about the duties of the Executive Supervisor of Eurovision events, the notice states them in more detail:

-The executive supervisor is the person who, on behalf of the EBU, has overall responsibility for the ESC mark. This includes the areas of member relations, content, production, broadcasting, financing, legal, logistics, security and communication and public relations.

-As the Eurovision Contest is an apolitical event but with a possible political impact, the general and political management of stakeholders is a key role for the Executive Supervisor.

-He\she is responsible for gathering all relevant information on the development and progress of Eurovision each year, in addition to general related matters that may be of great importance or may damage the reputation of the ESC and the EBU.

-He\she is the main responsible for ensuring that Participating Broadcasters (PBs) participating in the competition comply with the EBU Rules.

-He\she maintains extensive contact with all public service broadcasters and is available for advice, consultation and support throughout the year, also by visiting PBs at their preferred location.

-He\she  is responsible for the long-term strategic development of the Eurovision Contest, its brand and brand initiatives.

The 13th Executive Supervisor of the Competition

The new Executive Supervisor to be appointed will be the 13th in the history of the institution, with one remaining unknown until now, according to the official list published on the contest’s website:

1956-1957: Rolf Liebermann (2)
1958-1963: Unknown (6)
1964-1965: Miroslav Vilček (2)
1966-1977: Clifford Brown (12)
1978-1992: Frank Naef (15)
1993-1995: Christian Clausen (3)
1996 and 1998-2002: Christine Marchal-Ortiz (6)
1997: Marie-Claire Vionnet (1)
2003: Sarah Yuen (1)
2004-2010: Svante Stockselius (7)
2011-2020: Jon Ola Sand

As we mentioned in our recent article, a glance at the list is enough to notice that in the 65-year history of the competition, only Miroslav Vilček came from Southern Europe (he was Croatian). All others were from central and northern Europe, with Scandinavia in recent years holding this position exclusively.

So if you think you are qualified to claim the position of Executive Supervisor, its your chance  to apply. You will certainly not have Christer Bjorkman as an opponent, since, based on what he has clarified, he is not interested in that position!

So, take it away!

Editorial: “Eurovision Executive Supervisor”; a role for the Northern Europeans only | Is it time for the south?

Jon Ola Sand’s earlier announcement that he is stepping down the role of the Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest in May 2020 after the contest in the Netherlands ends, has prematurely started the debate about who is going to replace him.

A quick glance at his predecessors, it is more than enough for someone to realize that, out of the 65 years of existence of the contest, 63 of them were under the leadership of northern Europeans only.

Is it time for the south to take control? And if so, is there any public broadcaster from the countries of the south that can claim this position?

A privilege for the few

Observing the list of the Executive Supervisors of the competition since 1956, as published on the official website, we can see that the only time, in which one of the countries of the South was in this position, was back in 1964-1965 with Miroslav Vilček, from Tito’s powerful then-united Yugoslavia. Let’s see the list in detail:

1956-1957: Rolf Liebermann (2 contests) – Swiss
1958-1963: Unknown (6 contests)
1964-1965: Miroslav Vilček (2 contests) – Yugoslavia (Croatian)
1966-1977: Clifford Brown (12 contests) – British
1978-1992: Frank Naef (15 contests) – Swiss
1993-1995: Christian Clausen (3 contests) – Danish
1996 and 1998-2002: Christine Marchal-Ortiz (6 contests) – French
1997: Marie-Claire Vionnet (1 competition) – French
2003: Sarah Yuen (1 contest) – British
2004-2010: Svante Stockselius (7 contests) – Swedish
2011-2020: Jon Ola Sand (10 competitions) – Norwegian
2021: ?

In the 65 years of the Eurovision Song Contest, ten different EBU executives have been assigned as Executive Supervisors of the contest. Their countries of origin were seven (Switzerland, United Kingdom, France, Yugoslavia, Sweden, Denmark and Norway) and out of these – as we have mentioned above – only one country was part of the south, with a term of office of only two years.

Is the role of the Executive Supervisor an exclusive right of the countries of the North? Shouldn’t there be a provision for a proportional and rotational system in senior positions of the EBU  which will cover all of Europe’s geographical corners? This need is now more urgent than ever, since we can clearly say that the EBU is run exclusively by Northern Europeans! Current EBU’s president is Irish, president of the Reference Group is German and Executive Supervisor is Norwegian.

Besides, EBU members and subscriptions cover the whole spectrum of the European continent.

Is the South capable?

Here comes the question, of course, whether the public broadcasters of the countries of the South have an executive who could take on this neuralgic position? Is there anyone with the knowledge, experience, but also the disposition to do so?

Personally I think yes there are! Besides, in the south there are some colossi in the field of television such as RAI and TVE, in Italy and Spain respectively. Two very big TV stations, with great productions, executives with know-how, and history in the competition.

Now we go to our own neighborhood. ERT may not have been willing to claim this role as shown in recent years, but CyBC does!

Cyprus public television competes equally local private television stations, often ending first on the daily television chart. It has a very commercial program and can boast of having a strong presence in social media, successfully making the transition to the new era.

Share of all the above, except of course its worthy staff, is credited to Michalis Maratheftis, who is the general manager of CyBC since 2017.

One of his achievements is the impressive track record of Cyprus in recent years in the Eurovision Song Contest, with entries that stand out and are still being discussed today. His greater goal is to win, which will not be long if he and his team continue with the same stubbornness and enthusiasm.

The time until May 2020 is long enough and the candidates to appear are many, but the case of Michalis Marathethis seems to be worth a look at the EBU headquarters in Geneva!

We Greeks have proven that we can handle whatever role we are assigned to, so why not to this as well?