EBU.CJ REPORTS – The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is pleased to announce it has signed an exclusive option with Australian Associate SBS (Special Broadcasting Service) to establish an Asian version of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Under the agreement, SBS and production partners Blink TV are exploring the opportunity to establish the Eurovision Song Contest concept in the Asia Pacific region, offering broadcasters and sponsors the opportunity to be a part of this amazing event.
“SBS Australia has been broadcasting Eurovision for over 30 years, so we feel they are a perfect partner to build an alliance of networks with, and give Asian songwriters and artists the opportunity to perform on the Eurovision stage,” said Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest.
“We are excited by the fact that Eurovision’s appeal is crossing continental borders to Asian countries,” added Dr. Frank-Dieter Freiling, Chairman of the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group and Senior Vice President of International Affairs at ZDF.
The first Eurovision Song Contest was held in 1956 with the aim of uniting nations and exploring new television technology. Since then, over 50 nations have taken part in this unique competition which reaches nearly 200 million viewers in Europe and beyond every year.
Capitalising on the success, production values and scale of the Eurovision Song Contest, Eurovision Asia would encompass Asia Pacific nations, bringing together up to 20 countries to compete in one extraordinary live annual Grand Final.
The inaugural event is planned to be hosted in Australia in 2017 and thereafter in other regional cities. The broadcast rights will be licensed on a global basis and the event will offer the chance for Asia Pacific countries to showcase their song writing and performing talent to the world.
SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid welcomed the agreement: “As the official broadcaster of Eurovision for over 30 years, SBS are pleased to explore the opportunity to bring an event of this calibre more closely to our shores, strengthening the multicultural ties in our own backyard. Asia Pacific has a spectacular music culture and the perfect next step to extend the Eurovision brand, bringing its hugely popular appeal beyond Australian audiences and to the wider region.”
Over the next few months SBS’s Eurovision production partners Blink TV will lead discussions with potential sponsors, commercial partners and regional broadcasters with hopes to bring this event to fruition in 2017.
Director of Blink TV, Paul Clarke says the project could be huge: “Now we have been granted an opportunity to grow the Eurovision brand from an audience of 200 million, to a potential Asian audience of more than a billion viewers. We are pleased with the very early discussions across the region and look forward to working with our neighbouring broadcasters to realise this vision.”