€208,000 was spent by RTE on competing at Eurovision 2013 – according to the Irish Mirror Newspaper. So how does the newspaper claim the money was spent and why do they fail to mention the revenue that participation in the contest generates?
Firstly RTE took 17 people as part of the Irish Delegation to Malmo this year. This obviously included the 6 performers and then the production team. 17 is a rather small delegation when compared to many of the other delegations that you see each year. The Azerbaijan deleagtion had 2 separate hotels in Malmo housing a larger Delegation.
Accommodation in Malmo is not cheap. The fee for the 2 weeks for the full delegation in the 4 star Grand Hotel Malmo, cost €37,089 according to the Irish Mirror. Across 17 people that is actually very good value. Further more the Irish Mirror does not explain that the EBU will only allow delegations to stay at certain hotels as the accommodation has to provide security and easy access to the contest venue. With such a high profile contest taking place – security concerns are of prime importance. One needs to look at the failed terrorist plots against the 2012 contest in Baku. So for 2 weeks it cost on average €2,100 for each member of the delegation. I defy people to find accredited hotels that would have cost as low as that. I know fans that spent more than that on budget hotels for the same period.
Next up the Irish Mirror claim €18,542 was spent on food, drink and transport while the Irish Delegation were in Sweden, as well as €7,386 on flights. It is obvious that the journalist wasn’t even in Malmo, as they would have seen that prices for food and drink would make one’s hair stand up like Jedward’s when you see the price of a sandwich. Furthermore the delegations don’t have the luxury of being able to walk down to the local McDonalds for a MacReindeer Meal. And as for flights that works out at €434 each for return flights/trains. That was less than I paid – so well done RTE.
The Mirror claims a further €70,000 was spent on the Eurovision entry fee – well that is for every country and even more for the Big 5 Nations and then a further €74,000 spent to select Ryan Dolan as our Eurovision entry on the Late Late Show back in February.
Ok – Let’s put some of these figures into perspective for the Irish Mirror Newspaper
These figures are a reduction of almost €50,000 on the money spent on sending Jedward to Eurovision last year in Baku. Secondly the alleged cost of the Late Late Show – well one has to remember that this is ALWAYS the second most viewed episode of the Late Late show each year – only ever beaten by the Toy Show at Christmas time. With such huge viewing figures guaranteed, the revenue that is generated from advertisement and televoting is considerable. So where does the Irish Mirror show this in their “expert accounting figures”.
The €70,000 entry for the Eurovision Song contest – well what does that give RTE. I will tell you what it gives RTE – 7.5 hours of prime time TV viewing over the 2 semi finals and Grand Final on the Eurovision Week. Does the Irish Mirror realise how much RTE would have to spend to either produce or buy in this amount of prime time viewing – yes a LOT more than €70,000 – oh and have a peak viewing figure of 1.1 million viewers to boot too.
The fact that Ireland have for the 4th year in a row qualified for the Grand Final, this has ensured that viewing figures for the contest have increased each year. Ryan managed to have more viewers tune in for his Eurovision Experience than Jedward back in 2012. Again the additional revenue this generates for RTE with tele voting and advertisement sales has been overlooked by the Irish Mirror.
So it is plain to see that the Irish Mirror went for the lazy option and just spoke of the outlays, yet failed to mention a single cent of the income that Eurovision generated for RTE and the country indirectly. Did they fail to see that Ireland was one of a handful of countries that were highlighted in the opening sequence of the Eurovision Grand Final? Do they not realise how much it would cost The Irish Tourist Board to buy 30 seconds of TV advertisement, broadcast out to 170 million television viewers – the second most watched television show in the world – only surpassed by the World Cup Final.
That nicely brings me onto Football. I am not sure I have read an article by the Irish Mirror detailing how much the IFA (Irish Football Association) spend each year or every 4 years to send the Irish football team to the European Cup or the World Cup Qualification games. Hmmm if the Irish team were to have made the last 4 Grand Finals of their respective 4 football tournaments and have scored 5 goals (to match Ireland’s 5 points at Eurovision) then they would have been overjoyed.
So let’s urge the Irish Mirror to show the same journalistic investigative skills and probe the cost of sending the Irish Football team out to do battle on a European and Global stage. Though we here at Eurovision Ireland are huge supporters of all our Sports Men and Women – why should the newspaper be lazy and only highlight the costs of Eurovision and not that of Footballers for example. One final word – An accounting BALANCE sheet shows expenditures and incomes – tut tut they failed to mention to you – their readers – the revenue that Eurovision this year – and every year – brings into RTE and the bigger local economy.
Author/Website co-founder and Editor in Chief Garrett Mulhall
Source – Irish Mirror and Eurovision Ireland