IPBC the new Israeli broadcaster will be able to compete in EBU contests despite lacking Full Membership until December 2017.
Walla reports that the European Broadcasting Union and IPBC have signed an agreement which enables the new broadcaster to continue to participate in EBU contests and broadcast events such as the World Cup. IPBC is currently a pending member of the European Broadcasting Union, with a decision on the broadcasters membership to be taken in December of this year.
In the run up to the launch of the new broadcaster, there had been questions about whether the broadcaster would be eligible to join the EBU. These questions focused on the broadcaster not wishing to provide news content, a key aspect of EBU membership.
However, IPBC has since its launch broadcast news in the evening, as well as a more in-depth look at the news on Thursday through to Sunday nights. The European Broadcasting Union had before the broadcasters launch expressed their disappointment at the level of interference in the broadcaster from the Government and the lack of news services.
The agreement between the EBU and IPBC means that Israel is now still eligible to compete in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest and Eurovision Young Dancers which are scheduled to take place before a membership decision is taken. Furthermore IPBC will be able to submit the required paperwork to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest which has to be submitted by October/November 2017.
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Israel debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1973, and were represented by Ilanit who finished in 4th place with the song “Ey Sham”. Their first victory came in 1978 with Izar Cohen and the Alphabeta. Israel won again the following year with Gali Atari & Milk and Honey. Israel’s most recent victory came in 1998 when Dana International performed “Diva” in Birmingham, beating Malta to victory in a tense voting sequence. Israel struggled in the contest during the early-2010s, failing to qualify for the final from 2011-2014. However since the HaKokhav HaBa selection process was introduced in 2015 they have qualified twice, with Nadav Guedj finishing in 9th in 2015 and Hovi Star finishing in 14th in 2016.