The European Broadcasting Union is reviewing the rules regarding which broadcasters are eligible to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest.
In a statement to ESCToday.com the European Broadcasting Union has stated that they are reviewing the rules regarding associate members participating in the Eurovision Song Contest. The statement reads as follows:
For the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest EBU Associates, such as Khabar Agency in Kazakhstan, were not eligible to take part in the Contest save for an exception made for SBS Australia. The EBU is reviewing these rules ahead of next year’s competition, and will publish the latest edition on the Eurovision.tv site in due course.
The statement has fueled speculation that the EBU may open up the contest to broadcasters who are associate members of the European Broadcasting Union. To date only Australia’s SBS has ever competed in the contest without being a full member of the European Broadcasting Union. SBS is an Associate Member of the EBU and was invited to compete in 2015 as part of the contests 60th anniversary, they have now gone on to become what appears to be an annual fixture in the contest.
If the EBU does allow associate members to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest it opens the door for Kazakhstan to compete. Kazakhstan has shown broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest annually through its associate member broadcaster, Khabar Agency. The Kazakh broadcaster has shown the contest annually since 2010 and has created specific website content to promote the contest.
Kosovo would still be unable to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest if the rules only enable associate members to compete. RTK the national broadcaster of Kosovo is an observer, but had key assistance from the EBU when it was setup in 2008, For Kosovo being eligible to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest has been the aim of RTK since independence in 2008. Kosovo has had the opportunity to compete in a Eurovision event, in 2011 the country participated in Eurovision Young Dancers in Oslo. Kosovo has broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest and Junior Eurovision Song Contest on a number of occasions between 2010 and 2016.
The full list of countries who would be eligible to compete if the contest allowed associate members to compete is as follows:
- Hong Kong
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- South Korea
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- United States
Source: ESC Today