The Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden, will introduce a new technological method to advance the overall voting procedure: Eurovision Flex. In addition, because of Eurovision‘s use of technological innovations, the EBU has announced that Europe’s favourite show will receive the prestigious Charlemagne Medal for European Media.
Via the new digital tool Eurovision Flex, a self-managed transmission system, broadcasters are enabled to deliver live content and information, spread over various networks. In this way, each participating broadcaster is connected through at least two independent networks, creating advanced protection.
Graham Warren, Director of Eurovision Network, explains:
The Eurovision Song Contest is the EBU’s flagship event, the longest running annual TV music competition in the world. Last year the three live shows reached an audience of 197 million viewers. We have decided to complement our satellite and fibre connectivity by deploying the Flex IP hybrid technology to ensure full security and smooth delivery of the voting results.
Jon Ola Sand, Eurovision Song Contest Executive Supervisor, says:
We are very proud to link the Eurovision Song Contest with the Eurovision Flex product.
Charlemagne Medal for European Media
In addition, the EBU has announced that the Eurovision Song Contest has won the prestigious 2016 Charlemagne Medal for European Media (Médaille Charlemagne pour les Médias Européens). Non other than Björn Ulvaeus, former member of ABBA, will present the award to EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre and Eurovision Song Contest Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand.
The ceremony will be held on 28 April in Aachen, Germany. During the ceremony, a panel consisting of Ingrid Deltenre, Jon Ola Sand, Björn Ulvaeus, Thomas Schreiber (from German broadcaster NDR, EBU Member) and 1982 Eurovision-winner Nicole will discuss how music has helped create European unity.
EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre stated:
We are thrilled to be receiving this prestigious award, precisely 60 years since the first Eurovision Song Contest was held in 1956 with the aim of uniting nations and exploring new television technology. Since then over 50 nations have taken part in this competition which reaches nearly 200 million viewers every year. We are proud that the Médaille Charlemagne Association has recognised the role that the Eurovision Song Contest continues to play in bringing together audiences across Europe and beyond.
Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, added:
The Eurovision Song Contest is the only pan-European cultural event and its longevity proves it is an important tool with which to build bridges between nations. Viewers in over 40 countries come together each year to enjoy this unique entertainment event. To be presented with this award by Björn Ulvaeus, from arguably the Contest’s most successful winners ABBA, makes it all the more special.
Michael Kayser, Chairman of the Médaille Charlemagne Association, says:
We, the citizens of Europe, rarely get the opportunity to feel interconnected across borders. The Eurovision Song Contest presents such an opportunity.
And Dr Jürgen Linden, Chairman of the Charlemagne Medal Board of Directors, concludes:
The Eurovision Song Contest represents a basis for the formation of ties between individual nations. On the basis of a common liking of music, millions of people celebrate one idea together, an idea resulting in one song emerging victorious. National interests and differences fade into the background as we celebrate our similarities.
The Charlemagne Medal has been awarded since 2000. The prestigious award goes to a European personality or institution in the field of media that has contributed to European unity and the development of a European identity in a particularly significant way.
The Association Médaille Charlemagne pour les Médias Européens, which is giving the award, was established in 2006 on the initiative of the Regional Office for Media of North Rhine Westphalia and the City of Aachen. The following institutions belong to the Association Médaille Charlemagne pour les Médias Européens: City of Aachen, City of Maastricht, German-speaking Association of Belgium, Regional Office for Media of North Rhine Westphalia (LfM), Film and Media Foundation NRW, Arte – the European cultural channel, BBC World News, Deutsche Welle, EOS Entertainment, Discovery Communications Deutschland, Euronews and the Newspaper Publishers’ Association of North Rhine Westphalia.