MALTA – The Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2016 will be the 14th annual Junior Eurovision Song Contest, and will take place at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, in Valletta, Malta. This will be the second time that Malta have hosted the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, their first being in 2014. Jon Ola Sand was appointed as the Executive Supervisor for the 2016 Junior Eurovision Song Contest, following the dismissal of the former supervisor, Vladislav Yakovlev. As of 26 August 2016, fifteen countries have announced their provisional participation in the contest with Slovenia and San Marino both withdrawing from the competition after two and three contests respectively, whilst Cyprus is returning after a one year break, and Poland is returning to the contest after an eleven-year break. For the first time since the inauguration of the contest the voting procedure will not include a public televote. The overall results will be determined by combination of professional and young jurors.
During a press conference interview on 21 November 2015, a representative from the EBU stated that they had already begun approaching several broadcasters in regards to being the host country for the 2016 contest. On 13 April 2016, it was confirmed that Malta would host the contest, the second time that the country would do this. The contest will take place at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, in the Maltese capital, Valletta; which will also be hosting the Eurovision Young Dancers 2017. There are also going to be other venues around Valletta, like the Manoel Theatre, ST. George’s Square and Valletta Waterfront, with children supporting different countries, and there will be special guest performances in these venues.
An announcement was made in December 2015, regarding the contract termination of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest executive supervisor Vladislav Yakovlev. Yakovlev was fired without any clear reasons after three contests, and was replaced by Jon Ola Sand who has been executive supervisor for the Eurovision Song Contest since 2011.
During the press conference for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2016, it was announced by the Reference Group that several changes to the voting format were to be introduced for the 2016 edition. Unlike in previous editions in which the points awarded were a combination of 50% national juries and 50% televoting, from 2016 onwards only the professional juries would be taken into account, bringing an end to the use of televoting for the first time. The Kids Jury votes will be announced by a spokesperson, followed by the jury votes from each partcipating country.
Participating countries so far (14): Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Ireland, Italy, FYR Macedonia, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Ukraine.
Belgium: despite efforts to bring the country back there is no indication of returning yet
Croatia: they announced on August 17 they are not coming back to the contest
Czech Republic confirmed not participating on July 5th
Denmark: national broadcaster confirmed once again they have no interest to the contest
Estonia: although in November 2015 there was some interest there are no plans for participation yet
France: seems into negotiations with EBU for potential return but nothing definite yet.
Germany: EBU keeps saying there are good talks with NDR for potential participation, still waiting…
Greece: on May 25th ERT announced they are not participating in the contest
Israel: it seems that the newly established national broadcaster is seriously thinking to return
Latvia: on May 23rd LTV announced they will not participate in the contest.
Lithuania: there seems to be some interest but its unlikely the country to come back
Moldova: on July 13th TRM said here ae no plans for the country to return to the contest.
Norway: just like Denmark, NRK is not interested but there are discussions with TV2 for it.
San Marino: on July 14th they announced they withdraw from the contest.
Slovenia: RTVSLO also announced their withdrawal from the contest on May 24th
Spain: TVE and Jon Ola Sand are in contact for a potential return, but we all know how TVE works.
Sweden: SVT announced a one-year-break from the contest in 2015 and might return in 2016
Switzerland: national broadcaster will not participate due to the cost.
United Kingdom: there are still efforts and discussion for a broadcaster to participate
Australia: although invited, SBS has not yet revealed decision about participation.