ISRAEL – With hours left on the clock, the Finance Ministry and the Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation have signed a deal to keep the Eurovision song contest in Israel. IPBC, known as KAN, will send a 12 million euro security deposit to the European Broadcasting Union by the end of the day, ensuring the competition be held in Israel.
Earlier this morning EBU dispatched a fan e-mail to all Eurovision.tv subscribers talking about how they work closely with KAN to find the proper venue for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.
After a marathon day of negotiations, KAN and the Finance Ministry agreed to a deal in which the broadcaster will take out a loan to cover the deposit. As part of the deal, the ministry as promised that, if for any reason, the deposit is forfeited, the government will work to help KAN repay the loan.
“The IPBC believes that the government of Israel will do everything in its capabilities to ensure a worthy and respectable Eurovision and to stand by its commitments,” KAN officials said Tuesday after the deal was signed.
Sources in KAN said that Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon vowed that the government would help in funding the overall Eurovision production – and it expected him to live up to that.
Funding for the entire competition, slated for May 2019, could cost up to 35 million euro – approximately NIS 150 million. KAN’s 2018 budget stood at NIS 747 million.
KAN added Tuesday that it will be working with the Treasury to come to a deal on the overall budget and funding sources.
Earlier this month, KAN asked for and received a two-week extension from the EBU to pay the deposit. Since then, it has blamed the government for its inability to pay, and said taking out a loan could leave it illegally in debt. In turn, government officials said KAN is the one responsible for the competition’s funding and was not acting responsibly.