EUROVISIONCANADA.COM REPORTS – Since the moment when Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest for the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), announced that Canada would be broadcasting the Contest, they had the attention of Eurovision fans in this country. However, the May 2nd announcement by the EBU offered no details and with the Contest only days from beginning, we were left with lots of enthusiasm, but very few specifics. No Canadian source, not anyone in news media or in the broadcasting industry, was reporting anything that fleshed out the who, where and when of the EBU announcement.
Jon was heard again, this time on the red carpet during the opening ceremony of the Contest, telling a world-wide audience that the Contest was being broadcast in Canada. While we watched the live stream, our eagle eyes spotted a camera from the specialty cable channel OUTtv, working in the background. Could it be them?
We went to their site, checked out their news and programming schedule. Nothing about Eurovision.
We began getting enquiries from fans in Canada and media in Europe. Some published reports in Europe claimed the Contest was being broadcast live in Canada, others reports speculated about whether it was just the final or also the semi-finals.
We contacted Canadian broadcasters (CBC has broadcast the Contest in the past) and individuals associated with networks, scanned program listings, scoured Canadian news sources and found nothing. Zip. We reached out to Jon, but the busy executive did not reply with more details. Finally, with the help of one of the European news sources that had covered this story, we were able to reach someone within the EBU who could provide a little more detail.
Today, Jarmo Siim, Communications Coordination, Eurovision Family of Events, EBU, told us via email, “We have reached an agreement with OUTtv Canada for this and next year. They will not broadcast live, though, but deferred.”
We then spoke with Erin Petrie, Manager Brand Strategy, OUTtv, who confirmed the Eurovision Song Contest will be broadcast on the following dates:
First Semi-Final on Friday, June 20th at 9:00 pm Eastern, 6:00 pm Pacific,
Second Semi-Final on Saturday, June 21st at 9:00 pm Eastern, 6:00 pm Pacific, and
Final on Sunday, June 22nd at 9:00 pm Eastern, 6:00 pm Pacific, preceded by a “marathon” airing of both semi-finals (start time of the marathon to be determined, based on length of the two semi-finals).
OUTtv was unable to confirm the host of the programs at this time, as arrangements have not yet been finalized (we’re available!). Similarly, it is unknown at this time whether commercials will interrupt the Eurovision programming.
Petrie understands that Eurovision fans will already have seen the shows and will know the results. She hopes fans will see OUTtv programming as an opportunity to introduce the Contest to “unsuspecting friends.”
For newbies to the Contest, OUTtv will be launching a promotional campaign, three weeks in advance of the delayed broadcasts, introducing viewers to the tradition of hosting Eurovision parties.
“We’re really looking forward to bringing Eurovision to Canada,” Petrie said. “We think it will be a start of a fun tradition.”