The Malta Eurovision Song Contest costs about €200,000 but is a completely commercial activity, according to the Public Broadcasting Services. “The government does not fork out a cent for the organisation of the festival. This is a purely PBS initiative funded commercially,” PBS CEO Anton Attard told The Times, saying revenue is generated through advertising, sponsorships and tickets.

The cost of taking part in the upcoming May qualifying semi-final in Sweden will cost PBS about €100,000 – a sum that is also funded commercially.

Mr Attard made a light reference to last week’s comment by the university’s dean of Engineering, who compared the university’s €600,000 research budget to what is “probably” spent on the Eurovision. “We do not come close to spending that, but if Dr (John) Betts would like to copy our methodology to raise money for research, he’s more than welcome,” he quipped.