ISRAEL — British media reported that Israel has permanently withdrawn from the Eurovision song contest after the closing Israel Broadcasting Authority made its farewells live while reporting the country’s scores. Other countries also took the farewell by IBA host Ofer Nachshon to mean that Israel would be leaving the annual tournament, whose finals took place in Kiev on Saturday night.
“Tonight, is our final night, shortly IBA will shut down its broadcasting forever, so on behalf of all of us here in IBA, let me say thank you Europe for all the magical moments and the beautiful years,” Nachshon said at the en of the Eurovision broadcast.
Media in several countries, not familiar with the closure of the IBA as part of Israel’s public media reform that will see the broadcaster replaced by a new public media corporation, known as Kan, on Monday, reported the end of Israel at Eurovision.
Kan has said it will take over the broadcasting rights to Eurovision if it is able to qualify as a member of the European Broadcasting Union. But this could be a problem since the new Kan broadcaster does not have a news division. The news component is being run by a separate entity following a government compromise on the issue.
At the end of the Eurovision broadcast at 1:45 a.m. on Sunday morning, IBA signed off permanently.