FYR Macedonia: EBU blocks MRT’s Eurovision 2018 participation

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 3,996 views

Following news reports in FYR Macedonia last week stating EBU’s sactions on FYR Macedonia’s national broadcaster MRT, ESCToday decided to investigate further and contacted the EBU in order to shed more light on this issue.

Local media in FYR Macedonia has reported that the EBU has implemented sanctions on the national broadcaster of FYR Macedonia MRT due its debts.

ESCToday has contacted both the EBU and MRT in order to get more feedback on the current situation regarding MRT’s EBU membership. The EBU gave us the following answer:

The EBU’s statement

As a result of non-payment of debt, FYROM’s public service broadcaster Macedonian Radio Television (MRT) currently does not have access to the EBU’s 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. MRT will also not participate in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest as things stand but will continue to take part in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in November.

Will FYR Macedonia participate in Eurovision 2018?

After the EBU’s statement we gather that FYR Macedonia will not participate at the forthcoming 2018 Eurovision Song Contest bearing in mind the broadcaster’s current debt.

All is not lost yet, as there could be a change of course if the Macedonian broadcaster settles its debt in time, thus enabling the country to participate in Lisbon next year. We must note that MRT has been allowed to participate at the 2017 Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Tblisi next month.

MRT has not confirmed to ESCToday its participation at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, the deadline for broadcasters to apply for participation at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest concluded on 15 September, hereafter countries had a grace period until 10 October to confim or withdraw their respective applications without suffering a penalty.

We hope MRT and FYR Macedonia resolve this issue and participate in the forthocoming Eurovision Song Contest. We believe that the broadcaster did submit an application in order to participate at the 2018 ESC in Lisbon. ESCToday has contacted MRT regarding this issue and is yet awaiting a stament from the Macedonian broadcaster.

The official list of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest  participting countries is expected to be released in due course.

FYR Macedonia in Eurovision

FYR Macedonia debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1998 and is yet to win the competition. The country attempted to enter the competition in 1996 with Kaliopi but didn’t qualify from the pre audio selection round. The Balkan nation has never made it to the TOP 10 of the scoreboard. Elena Risteka retains FYR Macedonia’s best result, namely at 12th placing which she achieved at the 2006 ESC in Athens.

In 2017 FYR Macedonia went internal in order to select its Eurovision act and entry for Kyiv and selected Jana Burčeska to defend the country in the contest with her dance beat Dance alone. Despite an  extraoridnary performance she failed to qualify to the Grand Final in Ukraine.

The 2018 Eurovision Song Contest is scheduled to be held on 8, 10 and 12 in Lisbon, Portugal.

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