The BBC apparently has an ‘open mind’ on the possibility of reducing payments to the EBU if Britain decided to or was forcibly opted out of the automatic place in the Eurovision final.
Supremos of Eurovision say that sponsorship deals and other sources of funding could now easily cover the costs of Eurovision should the ‘big four’ traditional funding sources for the EBU decide to withdraw or reduce their payment sums following the outcome of negotiations of the coming months as Eurovision organisers respond to criticisms that the
voting system now excludes them from winning or even achieving a top 10 place in future contests.
The BBC will have to decide if the British public would still watch in their millions if the UK decided to take its chances in the semi finals with the potential to not even qualify for the final and whether this would preclude honouring the contest with coverage at prime time on BBC1 or eventually relegate it to one of their digital channels (which would no doubt have pleased many Dr Who fans last week after the long running sci-fi show was given a rest for the week in order to devote so much of the Saturday night schedule to the Eurovision song contest).
The Beeb will also have to reflect as to whether they can count on Sir Terry Wogan’s future participation which has been intrinsically tied into many Brits slightly amused and mocking attitude to the contest and which cannot be discounted as a contributing factor to Europe’s attitude towards the UK’s entry (why vote for a country that hates Europe, belittles the contest but still pays its way into an automatic place in the final?).
Wogan meanwhile has suggested that only those countries that made it to the final should be allowed to vote in the final. An interesting idea but one that would really need to exclude anybody from an automatic place in the final so we’ll have to see what changes, if any, can be put in place before next years contest in Russia.