NEWS published on 05 Dec 2012

Christmas comes early for Eurovision Song Contest fans

Organizers of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest, in Malmö, Sweden, are set to reveal the entry line-up before Christmas – weeks earlier than usual.

The decision follows media speculation that some countries are planning to withdraw amid financial difficulties.

Eurovision Song Contest event supervisor Sietse Bakker said interest in the list had been uncommonly high, adding: “Despite what has been written, we fully expect the usual number of countries to participate in May – between 38 and 42. By confirming the list of participants before Christmas we will set the record straight."

Forty-two countries entered the 2012 contest, in Baku, Azerbaijan. In 2010, Hungary, Andorra, the Czech Republic and Montenegro withdrew from the contest in Oslo for financial reason.

In response, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has sought ways to make hosting the competition more affordable.

Mr Bakker went on: "We continuously look at how to cut costs. The EBU is more aware than most that public service broadcasters in Europe are feeling the economic pressure. We have in place contingency plans that will come into effect should a winning country find itself overstretched.”

Mr Bakker said the number of broadcasters that share the cost of hosting the Song Contest makes it more affordable.

More Information

Annika  Nyberg Frankenhaeuser, EBU Director Media, interviewed on WRS