“Eurovision historian John Kennedy O’Connor says there was “enormous delight” when Australia first came into the contest as a one-off special guest.
“That’s how it was sold, that’s what it was all about, and Europe embraced you.”
But he says our welcome has now been rescinded.
According to the rule book, says Mr O’Connor, Australia cannot enter the Eurovision competition and is there only as a special guest.
1) SBS, the TV station that broadcasts Eurovision in Australia, is only an associate member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organises the song contest, and that does not grant access to Eurovision events.
Meanwhile, Turkey, Bosnia, Monaco, Luxembourg and Slovakia no longer take part, Mr O’Connor explained, because their official broadcaster doesn’t want to do it.
“And the EBU say, sorry, we’re not having any private broadcasters involved, you have to be a member.”
And that’s why, according to Mr O’Connor, “the good will has evaporated”.
2) Australia is also not a member of the Council of Europe — another condition for entering Eurovision.
3) Finally, can we really say that Australia is within the “European broadcast footprint”?
“It’s a pretty big footprint that stretches to Australia,” Mr O’Connor pointed out.”
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