Moments ago EBU announced the withdrawal of Romania’s public broadcaster, TVR, due to repeated non-payment of debts!
The Romanian public service broadcaster Televiziunea Română (TVR) has debts that reach CHF 16 millions and because of that, EBU withdrew the broadcaster from all member services. That means that Romania is no longer eligible to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 and will also lose access to Eurovision News and Sports News Exchanges along with the right to broadcast specific sporting events, legal, technical and research expertise and lobbying services.
EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre said: “It is regrettable that we are forced to take this action. We are disappointed that all our attempts to resolve this matter have received no response from the Romanian government. In recent weeks the EBU has taken note of the Ministry of Finance’s suggestion that TVR may be placed into insolvency proceedings which may in turn lead to a profound restructuring of the broadcaster. The EBU is a not-for-profit association which represents 73 Public Service Broadcasters in 56 countries. The continued indebtedness of TVR jeopardizes the financial stability of the EBU itself.”
A deadline was given to the Romanian government to repay the debts but it expired on Wednesday 20th April and thus, TVR is no longer a member of the EBU. There is a full statement on the EBU website.
As a result, the Romanian act will be removed by the second semi-final on May 12th but the rest of the competing acts will keep their running order as it is.
“This is of course disappointing for the artist chosen to represent Romania, for our colleagues at TVR who have prepared their participation so well this year and, not least, for Romanian viewers and the many Eurovision fans in the country,” says Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of the EBU. “As with all participants, SVT has been preparing for Romania’s act thoroughly over the past weeks. To take an act out at such late stage is of course a little disruptive, but it will not negatively affect the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in any other way”, he continued.
“We think it’s unfortunate. We have been looking forward to welcoming the Romanian delegation to Stockholm. Now we are adjusting the rehearsal schedule and the starting order for the second Semi-Final and continue our work with the production of the 42 participating countries.” – Martin Österdahl, Executive Producer of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest.
— Melodifestivalen (@SVTmelfest) April 22, 2016
Romania will not be able to broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest since TVR won’t have access to any of the EBU services. However, since the official CD of the contest has already been produced, EBU decided to keep it that way as a courtesy to the artist. In addition, Romanian press and fans will not lose their accreditations but they will be moved to the International Delegation which includes press and fans from non-participating countries. The tickets will also remain valid for the Romanian fans.
Is this the end of Romania in the Eurovision Song Contest?