Today, SBS the Australian broadcaster, announced a deal with the European Broadcasting Union to organise an Asian version of the Eurovision Song Contest. Blink TV, the production partners of SBS, would like to hold an annual Grand Final with up to 20 countries from the Asia-Pacific region. Australia would host the first contest next year, with the following contests held elsewhere – yet to be announced if the winning country will host the following year.
However, this isn’t the first Asian contest similar to the Eurovision Song Contest, as the ABU Song Contests on TV and Radio have been around for a few years now. Dami Im, this year’s Australian representative has represented Australia at the ABU TV contest previously. It would be interesting to see if the ABU contests survived if the Asia Eurovision takes off.
Dr. Frank Dieter Freiling of the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group said:
“We are excited by the fact that Eurovision’s appeal is crossing continental borders to Asian countries. SBS Australia has been broadcasting the Eurovision Song Contest for over 30 years, so we feel they are a perfect partner to build an alliance of networks with, and give Asian songwriters and artists the opportunity to perform on the Eurovision stage”.
Micheal Ebeid, the Managing Director of SBS explained:
“As the official broadcaster of the Eurovision Song Contest for over 30 years, SBS is pleased to explore the opportunity to bring an event of this calibre more closely to our shores, strengthening the multicultural ties in our region. Asia Pacific has a spectacular music culture and the perfect next step to extend the Eurovision brand, bringing its hugely popular appeal beyond Australian audiences and to the wider region”.
Paul Clarke, the Director from Blink TV said:
“Since Moscow 2009, alongside SBS, we have been building Australia’s alliance with the Eurovision Song Contest, a brand that champions diversity, song writers and performers. Blink TV and SBS have been granted an opportunity to grow the Eurovision brand from an audience of 200 million, to a potential Asian audience of more than a billion viewers. I am certain we can build the team for this wonderful opportunity, and we look to partners in our part of the world to join us. Asia has an astonishing set of musical and visual cultures, and it will make for brilliant television.”
With the introduction of this agreement in the Asia-Pacific region between SBS and the European Broadcasting Union, will we see similar agreements around the globe? Will this be goodbye to Australia and their participation at the Eurovision Song Contest? Will this be the end of the ABU contests? Let us know what you think and comment below!
Author: Richard Taylor