Television production of the Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm next year will be one of the cheapest since 2000 with a maximum of 125 million SEK spent on the project. SVT hopes that the investment will not affect the rest of the program.
When Eurovision was held in Malmö in 2013, the cost of license fee payers was 125 million SEK, compared with SVT’s total program budget of 3.5 billion SEK. Now, SVT has decided that next year’s Eurovision in Globen will be within the cost frame as Malmö in 2013.
– We know that we are able to make a great show with this budget, says Safa Safiyari, program director at SVT.
Normally SVT doesn’t announce their production budgets, but they did it anyway in 2013 and they also do it now the ESC 2016. According to Safa Safiyari, the funds will be taken out of SVT’s program budget, but despite this, he says that the rest of SVT’s budget will not be affected. “We can handle this type of costs through good planning over several years.”
The total money that will be spent on Eurovision 2016 isn’t yet clear but DN reports that the city of Stockholm has already given 60 million SEK in this year’s budget which will be spent on the arena’s renovations.
Events in Stockholm are usually more expensive than in Malmö, due to higher costs for transport and safety. ESC 2016 still managed to match Malmö’s budget for television production because the competition will be held in Globen instead of Friends Arena which is larger and more expensive.
According to Martin Österdahl no other Eurovision was as cheap as Malmö 2013 during the 2000s, and now Stockholm 2016 has the same cost target. The last time ESC was held in Globen in 2000, production costs were about half as much, but then it was only one night. Today, the event has grown to two semi-finals and a final.
What might change this year is the broadcasting time. SVT made a proposal to EBU to advance the broadcasting time by one hour. Therefore the show might begin at 20:00 CET instead of 21:00 CET. SVT says that this change will help countries of the Soviet block as the contest begins late at night there. However, it hasn’t been confirmed whether this change will be made or not.
Last Friday was announced the management team at SVT that will produce the ESC. The work that awaits next is to develop an overall story that will be conveyed to the viewers.
– Last time, in Malmö, we talked a lot about the Eurovision origin, focusing on human rights and help bridge cultural differences in Europe. It is equally important today in 2016 and it will be equally worth it to be in focus, says Martin Österdahl but underlines at the same time that the message should not be perceived as political.
– It is very difficult to deny that all people have equal value. It is not provocative in any way.