This is one of the most unexpected consequences of the Russian-led war in Ukraine. Three countries have just withdrawn from taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest which will take place in Liverpool next year. Not to protest against the invasion, but because of the increase in the costs of participation in increase following the exclusion of Russia, one of the big financial supporters of the evening.
Bulgaria has just followed the decision of Montenegro and North Macedonia not to participate for budgetary reasons. You should know that the EBU, the European Broadcasting Union, asks each country for a participation fee, the amount of which varies according to the country. According to the BBC, which will cover the event since Ukraine could hardly take care of it despite its victory in the last edition, the cost for the 37 remaining countries should be around 5.7 million euros. The coverage of the evening, in May 2023, by the British public channel is for its part estimated, still by the BBC site, “between 8 and 17 million pounds sterling” (9.1 and 19.3 million euros), which still causes the eardrums to break.
“In addition to the significant costs of entry fees, as well as living costs in Britain – we have also faced a lack of interest from sponsors, so we have decided to direct existing resources towards financing of current and planned national projects”, said a representative of Montenegro’s public service channel RTCG.
That has the merit of being clear. And who could well tempt other nations to choose the same option soon, according to insistent rumors.