Australian broadcaster SBS has announced that it has signed an exclusive option with the EBU to establish an Asian version of the Eurovision Song Contest.
In the Asia Pacific region, 20 countries come together to compete with each other via SBS and production partners, Blink TV. The first event will be hosted by Australia in 2017, and thereafter in other countries in the Asia Pacific. Jon Ola Sand -Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest- said that: “The first Eurovision Song Contest was held in 1956 with the aim of uniting nations and exploring new television technology. Since then, over 50 nations have taken part in this competition which reaches nearly 200 million viewers in Europe every year”
Chairman of the Reference Group of the Eurovision Song Contest, Dr. Frank-Dieter Freiling 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”.
SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid 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”.
Blink TV Director Paul Clarke 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.”