San Marino RTV has raised questions about its participation in Kyiv, by stating in an article that they are yet to officially confirm participation.
Following the semi-final allocation draw on Tuesday, San Marino RTV has stated that “San Marino RTV has regularly applied but still hasn’t officially confirmed its participation”. The closing sentence on their coverage of the allocation draw raises questions as to whether we will be seeing the contest’s smallest nation at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
San Marino RTV has yet to announce any information about their participant in this year’s contest. This is the longest period of time with no information from the broadcast since 2012 when Valentina Monetta was announced as the countries participant on March 14. The selection of Serhat as the Sanmarinese participant in Stockholm took place in January of 2016.
Carlo Romeo the Director General of San Marino RTV has stated in an interview with La Tribuna Sanmarinese earlier this week that an announcement regarding this year’s contest would be coming soon. No details were revealed in the interview with regards to whether the announcement would be on the country’s participant or participation.
Conflict Over The Voting System
Since last year’s contest in Stockholm, San Marino RTV has also confronted the European Broadcasting Union regarding the current voting method at the Eurovision Song Contest. San Marino’s vote in the competition is currently decided by 50% San Marinese jury and 50% public vote. However, the public vote used is formed by a number of unknown countries televoting results, as San Marino shares its telephone infrastructure with Italy. The Head of Delegation of San Marino stated after the 2016 contest that:
The new system totally discriminates small states as it doesn’t allow them to deliver 100% of their vote. The change in the voting system has been decided without even telling us.
The proposal put forward by San Marino RTV creates a statistically representative sample of viewers from a set number of people living in San Marino. These public ‘panel members’ would be required to watch two of the three Eurovision broadcasts and vote via the web in the same window of voting used by other European television viewers. The vote of this ‘panel’ would join that of the jury to go to form the total vote at the San Marino Eurovision Song Contest.
In case of problems or malfunctions of the simulated remote voting system, the European Broadcasting Union may then resort to an emergency vote putting the current system to use not as a primary option, but as a backup. The European Broadcasting Union and San Marino RTV have not announced any changes to the method of voting for San Marino since the proposal was announced in November.
What Happens if a Country Withdraws At This Date?
In the event that San Marino withdraws from this year’s contest in Kyiv, they would still be obliged to pay their full participation fee. San Marino RTV, if they had wished to withdraw without having to pay their full fee, would have been required to withdraw from the competition in late September. The EBU holds the right to replace the withdrawing broadcaster, with another EBU member broadcaster if the interest exists from any other broadcaster.
Have Countries Withdrawn After Previously Agreeing To Participate in the Past?
On three occasions countries have withdrawn from the Eurovision Song Contest despite previously agreeing to take part. These countries and the reasons are as follows:
- Tunisia – 1977 – ERTT the national broadcaster withdrew from the competition in London, no reason was given
- Lebanon – 2005 – Withdrew from the competition after refusing to guarantee that they would broadcast the Israeli performance in the contest. This breached the rules of the competition and Tele Liban was banned from participating for three years.
- Serbia & Montenegro – 2006 – Disagreement between the broadcasters of Montenegro and Serbia over the results of the national selection saw the country withdraw from competing in the contest. The contest was still broadcast in Serbia with the country voting in the contest.
Source: San Marino RTV