EBU, unyeilding on Eurovision broadcast in Romania
No television from Romania will broadcast the Eurovision 2016 show and an offer in this respect by private channel ProTV cannot be accepted because the private TV channel is not a member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), reads a message posted on Friday on the Union’s official Facebook page.
“Although ProTV approached us with an offer to broadcast this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, because they are not members of the European Broadcasting Union and the Eurovision Song Contest is a competition between members and associates, we cannot take them up on their offer,” EBU explained.
Subsequently, the Union reinforced its stance, answering an incoming message on the Facebook platform that “since Romania will not be participating in the ESC this year” no broadcaster will transmit the show in Romania and decisions on next year’s ESC have yet to be taken.
The European Broadcasting Union — the world’s largest association of public broadcasters — announced on April 22 having taken steps to withdraw the membership of the Romanian public television corporation TVR over failure to pay accrued debts worth 16 million Swiss francs (14.5 million euro). Therefore TVR will no longer participate in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest.
Winner of the national selection, singer Ovidiu Anton, was supposed to represent Romania at the Eurovision with his act titled “Moment of Silence.” The Eurovision Song Contest will take place on May 10, 12 and 14 in Stockholm, Sweden.
PRO TV sent an open letter to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to convince it to give Ovidiu Anton the right to compete at Eurovision Song Contest. PRO TV also filed a bid to obtain the broadcasting right of the music contest due in Stockholm in May, but EBU denied the offer. PRO TV also launched an online petition as of April 27th asking Romanians “to express solidarity to Ovidiu and support him to get to Eurovision 2016.”
Aleksandras Cesnavicius, CEO PRO TV argued that “it’s not fair that Ovidiu should be withdrawn from the race in this advanced stage, only two weeks before the semifinals. Romanian spectators shouldn’t be stripped of the chance to see Eurovision. Otherwise, Ovidiu’s exclusion is a punishment given to the entire country not only to a television.”