The Bosnian national broadcaster BHRT is currently struggling and facing a finacial ordeal due to lack of funds and heavy debts. We don’t know what the future holds for them and if Bosnia & Herzegovina will be able to return to the contest next year.
BHRT withdrew from the competition in 2017 due to the serious financial turmoil it is going through. The main concern for the broadcaster at the moment is keep afloat.
Securing sustainable funding
The EBU reports that BHRT has secured sustainable funding after signing an agreement with Elektroprivreda – JP EP (Electric Company). This agreement will ensure the collection of the licence fee via electricity bills from this month onwards. BHRT plans to offer the same contract to other local electric companies and is confident that the outcome will be positive.
The former model for licence fee collection in Bosnia & Herzegovina expired more than a year ago and the government has been unable to find a long term solution for funding BHRT.
The new agreement with the electric company will enable the Bosnian broadcaster to obtain a solid source of independent funding , thus allowing it to invest in new technology and programming.
Ms. Radka Betcheva (Head of EBU Member Relations Eastern Europe) says:
We are pleased that BHRT has managed to secure stable income going forward which will allow them to better fulfil their remit to society.
However BHRT is still in need of urgent Government support to both repeal the outdated media laws and to help repay their debts which now stand in the region of 20 million euros. Without this assistance, public service media in BiH is still in a perilous state and we continue to appeal to the government to find a long term solution to their problems.
Eurovision 2018 Participation Uncertain
It is yet uncertain if Bosnia & Herzegovina will compete in Eurovision next year. We will have to wait and see if the broadcaster can resolve its issues and overcome the problems it is afflicted with. We hope that things work out for BHRT and we look forward to seeing Bosnia & Herzegovina back in the game soon!
Bosnia & Herzegovina in Eurovision
Bosnia Herzegovina debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1993 with Fazla and is yet to win the competition. The Balkan country achieved its best result in the competition in 2006 with Hari Mata Hari.
The Bosnians returned to the contest in 2016 after a 3 year absence from the contest with Dalal & Deen feat. Ana Rucner and Jala. Despite a fabulous performance they didn’t qualify to the Grand Final. In 2017 the country opted to stay out of the competition due to the financial turmoil afflicting the broadcaster.
The 2018 Eurovision Song Contest is scheduled to be held on 8, 10 and 12 May in Lisbon, Portugal.
The deadline for broadcasters to officially apply for Eurovision 2018 concludes by mid September. Hereafter, countries have a grace period to confirm their participation or withdraw their application without a penalty.
The final list of the 2018 Eurovision participating countries is expected to be released by the EBU later during the year.