The BBC cannot afford to win the Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf. But they cannot go much longer without a decent result. The dilemma that 2011 poses the broadcaster with, is a gamble. Send a respectable artist and risk success – send an unknown and risk flop and embarrassment. Don’t expect Gary Barlow – but don’t expect Wagner either.
In order to find the funds to host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2010, Norway’s national broadcaster NRK was forced to sell it’s broadcasting rights for the World Cup. The publicly funded network scaled back the budget of the costly contest, but only in relation to Russia’s exuberant affair in 2009. Norway itself is certainly not one of Europe’s economically challenged nations, but still required big support from sponsors, in the form of Scandinavia’s mobile network Telenor and airline Norwegian Air – yet the contest was still projected to make a loss.
A task set up to fail: the cost of Eurovision has become too much