Ceska Televize the Czech national broadcaster plans to regularly attend the Eurovision Song Contest, despite low viewing figures.
In an interview in the run up to this years Eurovision Song Contest, Jan Potměšil the Creative Director of the Czech delegation, said that ratings aren’t everything when it comes to deciding participation. Instead Ceska Televize views the Eurovision Song Contest as an opportunity to build a musical tradition within the country.
Mr Potměšil commented that,
We are considering participation in the Eurovision every year. Our viewing figures are not the only factor. The truth is that since the first participation in the competition there has been changedin the Czech delegation and significant development in general, which we think will continue in the future.
Mr Potměšil says that there is still opportunity for growth in the audience for the competition, with the audience for the contest growing by one-third between 2015 and 2016. This year less than 200,000 viewers followed any part of the Grand Final, following Martina Barta failing to qualify for the final on Tuesday night. The viewing audience for this years contest peaked at 188,000 viewers at 22:00 CET, but never managed to surpass 200,000 viewers. Across the course of the night viewing figures stayed at around 120,000 to 155,000 viewers.
The viewing figures for this years contest in the Czech Republic are as follows:
- Semi-Final One – 145,000 viewers
- Semi-Final Two – 101,000 viewers
- Grand Final – Less than 200,000 viewers
Martina Bárta finished 13th in the first semi-final scoring a total of 83 points. Had it be decided by the jury only the Czech Republic would have qualified in 7th place with 81 points, however Martina finished last on the televote with 2 points.
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The Czech Republic debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2007 with the band Kabát and the song “Malá dáma”, they finished last in the semi-final scoring just 1 point from Estonia. The country went on to participate for a further two years before withdrawing from the contest after the 2009 edition in Moscow where Gipsy.cz scored nul points. In 2016 the Czech Republic qualified for their first final, Gabriela Guncikova finished 25th in the final with the song “I Stand”.