The public broadcaster of Bosnia & Herzegovina has confirmed it is unlikely to make a return to the Eurovision Song Contest unless its funding model can be fixed.
BHRT has explained that it is unlikely to return to the Eurovision Song Contest in the near term unless the method by which it is funded is resolved. Bosnia & Herzegovina has been absent from the contest since 2012 due to debts owed to the European Broadcasting Union and a lack of funds to finance participation.
In a statement to N1, the broadcaster explained that:
Even now, and in the years ahead, BHRT puts at its disposal its team of professionals, its production and technical capacities, but unfortunately, BHRT does not have the financial means to finance the participation of representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina in this most spectacular and expensive TV show in the world.
The broadcaster added that its current funding method does not enable it to be properly funded. BHRT is funded through a licence fee which currently does not provide enough revenue to fund the channel, in 2019 the channel recorded a loss of 2.8 million Euro (5.5 million BAM). In 2018 the broadcaster previously explained that it would take 2 years between it starting to repay its debts and being able to compete in the contest.
BHRT reiterated that the only way to see the broadcaster back in the competition would be through a partnership with other groups:
Only with the support of the economy, state bodies, institutions, citizens and joint investment in a product called BiH’s representative at the Eurovision Song Contest could we quickly expect BiH to return to this competition because the Eurovision Song Contest is not just a competition for the best song, the Eurovision Song Contest is much more than that.
Bosnia and Herzegovina last participated in 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. In 2019 BHRT confirmed it was unable to afford the rights to broadcast the contest.
Image source: Albin Olsson | Source: N1.ba
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.