France Télévisions is spending around €1 million this year on the Eurovision Song Contest.
French national broadcaster France Télévisions, as one of the Big Five countries at the Eurovision Song Contest, pays for a good chunk of the contest’s expenses. According to Capital.fr, the public service spends €392,000 in broadcast rights for all three shows: the two semi-finals and the grand final.
In addition to that, another €600,000 will be spent on salaries and travel expenses for members of the French delegation, as well as for the casting shows in the run-up to the main event.
This includes €4,000 for Stéphane Bern, who has been providing commentary for France 2’s broadcast of the grand final since 2015. He will be joined in the commentary box by pop singer Christophe Willem and last year’s French candidate for Eurovision, Alma.
France Télévisions fills their Eurovision fund in part through advertising revenue—which can reach up to €600,000 for Saturday nights. A portion of the money earned from the SMS and televote also goes to France Télévisions.
This year, 380,000 viewers watched the first semi-final, while 724,000 viewers watched the second semi-final. The former was the least-watched Eurovision semi-final show to date, while the latter was the most-watched.
France is singing 13th tonight at the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, live from Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal. France has enjoyed being favored in the odds during the course of rehearsals, currently resting in the fourth spot.
France was one of seven countries to participate in the first Eurovision Song Contest in 1956. Since then they have participated in every contest aside from 1974 and 1982. Their withdrawal in 1974 was caused by the death of President Georges Pompidou, while 1982’s withdrawal was a result of TF1 declining to enter the contest. France has won the contest on five occasions, the most recent being in 1977 when Marie Myriam performed “L’oiseau et l’enfant”. France’s best result of the 2000s came in 2001 when Natasha St-Pier finished 4th in Copenhagen, Denmark.