For the first time, China will broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest live, both online and on television.
There is great interest in the Eurovision Song Contest in China. For the second year running, China will use the TV channel Mango TV to air the programme. Last year, the contest was streamed live online, and previously it was broadcast on television on delay. This year marks the first time the Chinese people will be able to watch the contest as it happens. Like last year, a team of twelve Chinese journalists will attend the contest in Stockholm next month.
Martin Österdahl, executive producer of Eurovision Song Contest 2016, has spoken out about Chinese interest in the competition.
Their interest has been rising, but this year is the first time that they will broadcast both online and on television. It’s very interesting because we have noticed that entertainment television has declined in popularity over the past decade. People have said it is an example of the death of this television genre. However, during this same period, Eurovision bucks the trend and continues to grow. It speaks volumes about the power of the event.
When asked about how the big the Eurovision Song Contest can become, Österdahl said that the format would have to change to accommodate growth.
The contest may get bigger, but we would have to discuss the format. We have 42 competing nations this year, so it is already difficult logistically to accommodate everyone and everything. But the format could be changed so it could grow. We know that Australia is competing now, and there is more interest in Asia. There are European countries who are not partaking in the contest yet, so it can probably grow further.
This year will mark the third year that the Eurovision Song Contest is broadcast on Chinese television.