Public broadcasters in four European countries have pulled out of next year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
RTP in Portugal, STV in Slovakia and BHRT in Bosnia & Herzegovina have told Eurovision organisers at the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) they won’t be going to Malmo, Sweden in May.
“We regret the withdrawal of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Portugal and Slovakia, which have all cited economic reasons,” said Jon Ola Sand, EBU’s executive supervisor of Eurovision.
He added the EBU is “sensitive to the economic pressures facing its members” and it is looking at ways of reducing costs, for both participating broadcasters as well as the host broadcaster, which comes from the country of the previous year’s winner.
Another European public broadcaster, TRT of Turkey, has also pulled out of Malmo, blaming changes to the rules governing Eurovision, despite those changes being made almost four years ago.
“We are surprised by this decision,” added Sand. “These changes were made in 2009 and this is the first time TRT has raised an objection. We are keen to pursue a dialogue with the Turkish broadcaster to seek a viable solution.”
Despite no-shows from these four countries, public broadcasters in 39 European countries have confirmed their presence next year. They are: Albania (RTSH), Austria (ORF), Armenia (AMPTV), Azerbaijan (Ictimai TV), Belarus (BTRC), Belgium (RTBF), Bulgaria (BNT), Croatia (HRT), Cyprus (CyBC), Denmark (DR), Estonia (ERR), Finland (YLE), France (France3), Georgia (GPB), Germany (NDR), Greece (ERT), Hungary (MTV), Iceland (RUV), Ireland (RTE), Israel (IBA), Italy (RAI), Latvia (LTV), Lithuania (LRT), Macedonia (MKRTV), Malta (PBS), Moldova (TRM), Montenegro (RTCG), the Netherlands (Tros), Norway (NRK), Romania (TVR), Russia (C1R), San Marino (SMTV), Serbia (RTS), Slovenia (RTVSLO), Spain (TVE), Sweden (SVT), Switzerland (SRG SSR), Ukraine (NTU) and the UK (BBC).
“Despite the challenging economic situation in Europe, a healthy number of public broadcasters have committed to the long-standing tradition that the Contest has become,” added Sand. The 2013 Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Malmo, Sweden, on May 14, 16 and 18.