Australia joins the 60th Eurovision Song Contest
The Australian Channel, Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) has been invited by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the Austrian host broadcaster ORF to participate this year in the 60th Eurovision Song Contest scheduled in Vienna, Austria in May 19, 21 and 23. SBS which is an EBU Associate Member has aired the annual competition for more than 30 years.
Eurovision Song Contest Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand said the aim here is to bring countries together to celebrate diversity, music and culture. He added that his organisation has admired and respected SBS’s support of Eurovision for many years .
The decision brings the total number of countries taking part in the 60th Eurovision Song Contest to 40. Should Australia win the competition, it has been agreed that SBS would co-host the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, together with an EBU Member Broadcaster, in a European city.
Michael Ebeid, SBS Managing Director said that his organisation is very excited to have secured this historic opportunity for Australia to be represented on the world’s biggest stage at the 60th anniversary of the Eurovision Song Contest and is honoured that the EBU has given all its support to achieve this ambition.
Dr. Alexander Wrabetz, the Director General of ORF, this year’s host broadcaster, is pleased to welcome Australia to Vienna: “The Song Contest has developed over the years to become the biggest TV entertainment event in the world,” he said.
Last year’s broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest in Australia achieved its highest ratings ever, reaching over 3 million viewers.