EBU approves use back-up jury of Irish television

Archive 20 Jun 2003
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After a delay with the televoting procedure experienced by Irish television when it came to deliver its vote, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) carried out a full investigation into the use of a back-up jury which, according to certain allegations, had been used improperly.

The EBU is satisfied that broadcaster RTÉ has applied the rules correctly.

Despite allegations from some quarters that the back-up jury had been used improperly, the EBU is now assured that there was no improper conduct on the part of the Irish broadcaster, and RTÉ followed the rules of the contest correctly, after experiencing a delay in their televoting procedure.

The EBU has also been in contact with the Irish telecom provider, eircom, charged with conducting the televoting on the night, in the course of its investigation. eircom has concurred that RTÉ was unable to use the televote due to a delay.

The rules of the Eurovision Song Contest demand that all broadcasters have a back-up jury in place on the night of the Final, just in case there should be a problem with the televoting.

Each broadcaster is mandated to use its jury vote result if the results of the public televote are not available for any reason.

Ireland was the third country to have to deliver its vote to Europe on the night of 24 May 2003. That meant it had just an 8� 10-minute window, after the close of voting, in which it had to collate and scrutinize the televote result, and present the figures on air.

Although RTÉ and eircom had made all efforts to prepare the result in time, and worked successfully together in the past, the result of the public vote did not arrive until the RTÉ spokeswoman, Pamela Flood had been called upon, live on air, to allocate the Irish points.

There was therefore no time for RTÉ officials to have the televote result scrutinized by a notary, which is a prerequisite of the rules of the competition. The televote is therefore null and void.


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André Rodrigues


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