The EBU has announced today that it has withdrawn TVR’s member services due to a non payment of debt mounting up to 16 million CHF. Hence Romania will not be allowed to compete at the forthcoming 2016 Eurovision Song Contest.
The Romanian public broadcaster will lose access to other EBU member services including the Eurovision News and Sports News Exchanges, the right to broadcast specific sporting events, legal, technical and research expertise and lobbying services.
Hence 42 countries will partake at the forthcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm.
The decision was made after a deadline given to the Romanian government to make satisfactory arrangements to repay the debt expired on Wednesday 20 April.
EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre has commented:
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.
The Romanian representative will be removed from the running order of the second Semi-Final of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, scheduled to be held on 12 May, 2016. The order of performances of the other 18 acts will remain the same.
Jon Ola Sand (ESC Executive Supervisor for the EBU) commented:
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. 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.
Martin Österdahl, (SVT’s Executive Producer for ESC 2016) commented:
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.
Due to the membership withdrawal implemented by the EBU, the Romanian national broadcaster will not be able to broadcast the forthcoming 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. TVR will not have the broadcast signal from Stockholm.
Romania debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994 and has never won the event. The country achieved its best results in the contest in 2005 and 2010 when it placed 3rd.