Lithuanian broadcaster LRT have announced officially that they have formally withdrawn from the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest. The deadline to confirm or decline participation passed yesterday, but the national tv station is still looking for funding to return to the competition.
There are still hopes in Lithuania regarding their participation for next year, judging by the words of Rimvydas Paleckis, director of LRT. The country have officially withdrawn from the competition, but the broadcaster is still trying to find sponsors to secure their 2010 participation in Oslo.
Since the formal decision to withdraw was made prior to December 14th, there will be no penalty nor sanction for the public broadcaster LRT. Mr. Paleckis has also expressed that Lithuania will be given the chance to participate should they find a way to make it to Norway next year. The needed amount to carry out the Eurovision preparations in Lithuania is 300,000 litas (around 90,000 euro).
If Lithuania could finally gather enough funding, the national selection process would be affected as well. In recent years, Lithuania has selected its representative via a preselection consisting of several shows. There is still no indication on how Lithuania would choose its entrant for 2010, but the procedure could be a shortened preselection (perhaps 1 programme) where the public would have their say, Mr. Paleckis has revealed.