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“It’s not with the UK”

Which European nation would SBS turn to if Australia ever won Eurovision?

If Dami Im had won Eurovision in 2016 SBS would have won the right to stage the next event in Europe with a European broadcaster.

But which nation does SBS favour?

“We’ve talked to a lot of different countries and I’m not allowed to say who the current deal is with,” Paul Clarke from Blink TV tells TV Tonight.

“But it’s not with the UK, I can say that.

“The great thing about Eurovision is that we’ve been supported at different times, by a lot of different countries. So initially, Germany really mentored us, then the Swedes, then the Austrians and Danes. We’ve tended to get support from Western Europe rather than Eastern Europe. But Eastern Europe still voted for us here and there.”

Josh Martin, SBS Commissioning Editor and Australian Head of Delegation, said, “In the event, we are lucky enough for that to happen we would obviously announce plans in due course. But we do have arrangements in place for the country, which I’m not going to say.

“We’ve had arrangements with different countries but that sort of changes. Having said that, we’d love to host it in Australia. One, you’ve got to win it, but two, there’s some key challenges.”

Those challenges include not just the distance and expense of delegations travelling to Australia, but the time zone differences of staging an event locally to screen live in primetime in Europe.

“We continue to plan and dream that someday that could be the case. We are confident that we could actually do it.”

Martin was encouraged that former Eurovision boss Jon Ola Sand attending Eurovision: Australia Decides was a vote of confidence.

“Yes, it’s small scale, but it is pitching at how we could put on a Eurovision Song Contest in Australia or internationally. Jon Ola himself said, ‘You guys could do it.'”

13 Responses

    1. I’ve watched Eurovision for many years and yes they do often vote based on politics, neighbouring European country blocs or diplomatic relations, but it’s overarchingly based on the quality of the songs and performances. The best song or performance usually ends up winning anyway. Look at the criticism at the Australian voting selectors for giving the UK zero points. It shouldn’t even matter. I agree to an extent and I hope it’s an issue that is overcome in Eurovision voting.

  1. The first option should be to host it in Australia. The defeatists will come up with a long string of excuses why it couldn’t be done. But I don’t think any of it stacks up. Eurovision can make it happen.

    Otherwise the cynic in me thinks the EBU would make sure it goes to their biggest donor. Going to the UK would surely cement Europe’s hate of Australia for decades to come.

    1. I believe the EBU will want it in Australia, as part of Aus invitations to Eurovision is promotion in the region. It could easily be managed by recording the bulk of the show from 7pm local time, and having a separate live show to reveal results at 0630 for SF and 0730 for GF. I don’t believe a 5am live show is realistic as artists would need to be up all night due to the final dress rehearsal run made earlier in the day – even if that is somewhat mitigated by such rehearsals being 9pm local time and would get a big local audience.

      The main issue is whether SBS would want to take on the task. It’s a big one and there’s enormous financial implications.

      Also factor in Australia is only an associate member of the EBU, so doesn’t have any rights and only participates by invitation. The EBU could take control and assign it to any bidder, which would likely be a big 5 country to…

  2. I’ll guess Switzerland because of the neutrality status. I’d prefer Australia to host it if Australia does win one day, or at least a country that hasn’t won Eurovision before, like Malta, Cypress, Iceland, Croatia, Slovenia etc.

    1. They’re all neutral to Australia. The problem with a non-big 5 country is that Switzerland would want a direct place to the grand final too, along with Australia, so would the EBU want 27 songs in the final or use a big 5 country to avoid that problem. Given the amount of money the big 5 to pay to keep the EBU going, most likely it will be in one of those countries. For me, due to the language and historical connection, the UK is the obvious choice, despite what Paul Clarke says. Really, they’ll try get it in Australia. The distance is irrelevant as that’s just sitting on a plane longer. The time zone is the really problem because a live broadcast would need to be 5am here and the last dress rehearsal about 9pm the previous day. Another option is record all the show except the results at 7pm the night before, and have a live results show in the morning.

  3. Just because you could do something doesn’t mean you should.
    I think 40-ish delegations trailing to Australia for telecasts starting at 5am on a Sunday will preclude us from ever hosting it here.

    1. I agree ,keep it where it is ,it will not work here or anywhere else ,it’s Eurovision ,it’s fine to have a token appearance by us but that’s where it should end.

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