Eurovision 2004 winner Ruslana from the stage of Euromaidan in the winter of 2014
The National Television Company of Ukraine (NTU) is now faced with the most important task in the history of Ukraine’s independence – switching to public broadcasting. This mission is extremely responsible, because in 23 years the country has not had a similar experience in building such a television. At the same time, the mission of creating a public service broadcaster comes at a very difficult phase for Ukraine. The unstable financial and political situation, military aggression from the east, the annexation of Ukrainian territories – all of these processes have forced NTU to focus on the main task: speedy construction of public service broadcasting in Ukraine. Due to this, NTU has to carefully optimize any costs. Therefore, the National Television Company of Ukraine, in the bilateral agreement with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), has decided to withdraw from the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 (ESC 2015).
The broadcaster has always held with great pride and inspiration the exclusive rights top cover the national selections, finals, and the broadcast of the contest. In organizing the Eurovision Song Contest 2005 and the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2009 and 2013, NTU had reaffirmed its understanding of the importance of this event, including the formation of positive image of Ukraine in the international arena.
Now the broadcaster is forced to take such a step. However, NTU hopes that Ukraine will not take part in the contest only for one year. And again in 2016 will send a contestant to the ESC.
“We understand that Eurovision is a prestige contest. But we have no right to make a bad performance. And we have no money for a good one. If somebody wants to help us, we will be happy; but I’m afraid we can’t handle such a contest on our own. Therefore, such a decision was made,” commented Zurab Alasania, CEO of NTU.
The artists themselves confirm: organizing a national selection for Eurovision 2015 is inappropriate now in Ukraine. Discussing participating in the competition, most famous musicians assured that they would now forego this opportunity.
“We consulted with many artists, and they said they would not participate in the competition because entertainment programs now are not entirely relevant. And funds that would be spent on holding the Eurovision 2015 Ukrainian national selection, would be better spent on more important needs,” said Vlad Bahinskiy, the producer music programs department in NTU.
However, Ukraine will not remain entirely without Eurovision. The national broadcaster is now conducting negotiations the EBU to broadcast the semifinals and finals of the competition. So, the Ukrainian viewer has all the chances to see “Europe’s favorite show” on the First National TV channel.
Translated by: Antoine Hraiki
Edited by: Alya Shandra