The Israeli national broadcaster has agreed a $18.8 million loan from the Israeli state to aid with hosting the Eurovision Song Contest 2019.
The IPBC and the Israeli state have agreed an $18.8 million loan (70 million shekels) to the broadcaster to help with hosting next years Eurovision Song Contest. The loan will provide the broadcaster with some of the funds required to host the contest in Tel Aviv in May.
IPBC was concerned about its ability to provide the funding to host next years contest. The broadcaster released a statement reading;
The board of the corporation believes that allocation of 110 million shekels from its own budget to finance just three evenings of broadcasts poses great difficulties, possibly harming local productions, creative artists and employees.
Having said that, the board members believe that holding the contest in Israel is of great importance to the image and economy of the country – and therefore agreed to undertake an examination of the terms of the loan with the intention of holding the competition, as long as they don’t impinge on fulfilling the corporation’s mandate, as stipulated by law.
Of note is that the loan was approved despite the CEO of IPBC voting against the loan. Eldad Koblenz opposed the vote due to concerns about whether the broadcaster will be able to repay the loan in the future. Mr Koblenz is concerned that any debt that cannot be repaid may leave the broadcaster vulnerable to political interference.
KAN is still expected to provide the remaining 40 million shekels of funding for the contest from its own budget. KAN has an annual budget of 700 million shekels. But as stated in its press release that any large expense may come at the expense of local productions.