Viewers in Bosnia & Herzegovina will be unable to watch Eurovision 2019 on BHRT, as the broadcaster cannot afford the rights to the broadcast.
Lejla Babovic the Head of Delegation for Bosnia & Herzegovina, has confirmed that BHRT will not be broadcasting the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. Ms Babovic told Fakor.ba that the Bosnian broadcaster cannot afford the rights to broadcast the competition and as a result will not screen next weeks contest.
BHRT is currently sanctioned by the European Broadcasting Union due to the amount of debt that the broadcaster owes the EBU. As a result of this sanction, BHRT is unable to aquire the rights to the contest if they could not pay for the amount in full at once. Ms Babovic explained that covering the cost of the broadcast through sponsorship would not be straightforward.
Bosnia and Herzegovina last participated at the 2016 contest, in which returning artist Deen represented the country with the song “Ljubav Je” along with Dalal, Ana Rucner and Jala. The group just missed out on qualification chances, ending in 11th place in the semi-final with 104 points. Before 2016, the country took a break between 2013 and 2015. Before then, the country had managed to qualify from the semi-finals every year they participated. To date the best Bosnian entry is from 2006, in which Hari Mata Hari brought home a 3rd place finish with his song “Lejla”.
Bosnia & Herzegovina debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1993, at the time the country was at war with Yugoslavia, with the singers having to leave Sarajevo under the cover of darkness to make it to Millstreet, Ireland. The countries best result in the Eurovision Song Contest came in 2006 when Hari Mata Hari made it to the final in Athens and finished 3rd with 229 points, the country received eight sets of 12 points, more than any other country. Bosnia last participated in 2016 where Dalal & Deen feat. Ana Rucner & Jala finished 11th in their semi final and failed to reach the final.