UNITED KINGDOM – The EBU, the international union that organises the Eurovision Song Contest, has just issued a statement about next year’s edition. The competition will not be held in Ukraine, and the EBU has contacted the BBC.
The statement was made public via the official website and social media. It is the result of discussions between the EBU and the Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC. Here is the complete text:
The EBU is currently in talks with the BBC about hosting the competition in the United Kingdom. The UK finished second this year with Sam Ryder, making it the natural “back-up candidate” for hosting. Spain’s RTVE had already stated in June that they would not pursue hosting rights and would instead delegate them to the BBC if Ukraine could not.
The previous year’s winner will not host the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time since 1980. The Netherlands hosted instead of Israel (who had won the 1979 contest in Jerusalem), and were primarily chosen because of their recent hosting of the 1976 contest in The Hague.
THE EBU STATEMENT
Following their win at the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) in May the EBU has been exploring options for the hosting of next year’s competition with Ukraine’s public broadcaster UA:PBC, who previously staged the event in 2017 and 2005.
It has become a well-known tradition that the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest hosts the competition the following year, providing certain criteria including ensuring the viability of staging the event and the safety of all stakeholders, including the public, are met.
Given the ongoing war since the Russian invasion of this year’s winning country, the EBU has taken the time to conduct a full assessment and feasibility study with both UA:PBC and third-party specialists including on safety and security issues.
The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the most complex TV productions in the world with thousands working on, and attending, the event and 12 months of preparation time needed.
Following objective analysis, the Reference Group, the ESC’s governing board, has with deep regret concluded that, given the current circumstances, the security and operational guarantees required for a broadcaster to host, organize and produce the Eurovision Song Contest under the ESC Rules cannot be fulfilled by UA:PBC.
The EBU would like to thank UA:PBC for their wholehearted cooperation and commitment in exploring all scenarios in the weeks since Kalush Orchestra’s win on 14 May in Turin and share their sadness and disappointment that next year’s Contest cannot be held in Ukraine.
The EBU has been supporting UA:PBC across a whole range of areas since the invasion. We will ensure that this support continues so UA:PBC can maintain the indispensable service they provide to Ukrainians.
As a result of this decision, in accordance with the rules and to ensure the continuity of the event, the EBU will now begin discussions with the BBC, as this year’s runner up, to potentially host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in the United Kingdom.
It is our full intention that Ukraine’s win will be reflected in next year’s shows. This will be a priority for us in our discussions with the eventual hosts.
THE BBC STATEMENT
“We have seen the announcement from the EBU. Clearly, these aren’t a set of circumstances that anyone would want. Following their decision, we will of course discuss the BBC hosting the Eurovision Song Contest.”
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