Eurovision 2019: EBU grants funding deadline extension for KAN

by Jessica Weaver 910 views

Only a few days ago it was revealed that funding had become an issue for the Israeli national broadcaster KAN, with hosting of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest reportedly being put in future jeopardy. However new reports suggest that the EBU has now granted KAN a deadline extension, giving the broadcast more time to gather the initial funds.

According to The Jerusalem Post, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) agreed to a request made by KAN on Monday for the broadcaster to receive a 2-week extension in order to gather the €12 million deposit required to host the upcoming 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Israel.

The Israeli broadcaster is reportedly under pressure in order to secure the necessary funding to host next year’s competition, with earlier reports by The Times of Israel suggesting that requests for government support have so far been unsuccessful.

Further negotiations ongoing

Following the given deadline extension by the EBU, KAN’s chairman Gil Omer wrote an urgent letter to Israeli Communications Minister Ayoub Kara, expressing the broadcaster’s needs for financial assistance from the government, according to The Jerusalem Post.

In Omer’s letter, the chairman revealed his concerns for the future of the broadcaster, revealing that KAN may find itself in “existential danger”. Omer continues:

If the deposit is forfeited, we will find ourselves in a budget deficit that we cannot cover.

Omer expressed his desire for both KAN and the government to work together in order to find a solution in order to fund the deposit to host the event, with the full costs expected to reach €35 million.

In confirmation to The Jerusalem Post by a spokesperson of the Communications Ministry, it was revealed that it is IPBC’s responsibility to come up with the funding in order to host the competition in 2019, once again pointing to KAN’s budget for 2018; the broadcaster’s budget for 2018 stands up NIS 747 million (€174 million).

Kara stood by the comments made by the Communications Ministry’s spokesperson, confirming the following:

The IPBC is responsible for producing the Eurovision out of its own budget […] [I] will make a special effort with the relevant authorities to allow the finance minister to grant a loan for the purpose of holding the competition.

The EBU has reportedly extended KAN’s deposit deadline to the 14 August, in which the broadcaster is required to gather the €12 million required to place a deposit to host the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.

Contradictions?

Today’s latest news contradicts earlier reports suggesting that the government has agreed to lend KAN a loan of €12 million to pay for the deposit by Globes.

Yesterday, Globes reported that sources had confirmed to them that KAN would receive a temporary loan from the government in order to pay the initial deposit. The loan was reportedly made after discussions with the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Communications and the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu.

With 2 different accounts of events from 2 separate sources, followed by a lack of public information by KAN and the EBU, it is currently unclear what the situation in regards to funding for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.

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