ESC 2014: JURY RULES TIGHTENED
European Broadcasting Union released the rules for the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest. Although the fundamentals have not changed, organisers are tightening the rules and increasing openness on the jury voting, which makes up 50% of the outcome in each participating country.
Under the new rules, the names of all jury members will be announced on the 1st of May, before the contest. Additionally, European Broadcasting Union will publish the ranking submitted by each individual jury member for all shows right after the Final, and thus the split results of jury voting and televoting for each country. To increase diversity, music industry professionals can only take a seat in a national jury if they have not been in the jury during one of the previous two editions of the contest.
“Tighter rules and increased openness are important for the Eurovision Song Contest to build on its success,” Jon Ola Sand, the Executive Supervisor of the contest on behalf of EBU/EUROVISION, adding: “to make sure participants, viewers and fans know that we have done and will always do our utmost to secure a fair result. These changes show that the Eurovision Song Contest is an ever evolving tradition, which continues to adapt to the spirit of time.”
“Through this increased openness, we want to assure everyone – participants, press and fans – can come to understanding of how we obtain a valid result. With these changes, we hope to put an end to the kind of speculation we have recently seen,” said Dr. Frank-Dieter Freiling, Chairman of the Reference Group.
Over the past months, EBU/EUROVISION has been investigating reports about alleged attempts to unfairly influence the voting. Sand: “If our investigation brings about evidence of wrongdoing, we will take the required action.”
EBU/EUROVISION will open a section on the contest’s official website where jury members and viewers at home can report voting irregularities, so they can be adequately investigated by the organisers, the contest’s voting partner Digame and PwC, which is overseeing the voting procedure.
The contest’s governing body on behalf of the participating broadcasters, the Reference Group, as well as the EBU’s TV Committee unanimously approved the rules.
JON OLA SAND EXPLAINS
Furthermore www.eurovision.tv posted the responses of Jon Ola and regarding the rule changes: The main thing is that this rule will apply as of 2014 and not for previous years. EBU is still undergoing an investigation for the alleged vote rigging and if solid prooves found, then actions will be taken; but EBU is not aiming to punish anyone. Rule changes implemented are aiming to improve the contest, the voting and its transparency. Hopefully this change can also bring back some broadcasters who left because of that reason (implying Turkey of course, emphasizing though that TRT never mentioned rule problem as their withdrawal reason).