2004 and the upcoming years will bring several changes to the format of the Eurovision Song Contest. While the 2004 edition of the contest gets shape, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) prepares the future changes into the contest's format and the 50th anniversary of the music contest.
In the Swedish newspaper Expressen, Eurovision Song Contest supervisor Svante Stockselius said that a world edition of the contest is not impossible. The EBU website already suggested that, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the contest, a World Eurovision Song Contest is one of the options: “More and more broadcasters contact us to ask if they can participate to the Eurovision Song Contest. Not only in Europe, but also in Japan, Australia, South-Africa and other parts of the world the contest is being broadcast. Even local stations in the United States are interested. There is a basis for a world edition!”.
Continental finals, bringing the best songs of every continent to the final, is an option. The launch of the contest is possible within years, but it's not yet 100 percent sure it's going to take place. The broadcast of World Idol made clear it's very difficult to broadcast a show in many different timezones on different times. The fact that the Eurovision Song Contest is live gives the show a very powerful image. Various ideas for the 50th anniversary, which is to take place in 2005, will be discussed during the Reference Group meeting later this month.
Meanwhile, the preparations of the 49th Eurovision Song Contest are continuing in Istanbul. At this moment, TRT is finalising the concept for the contest and is working on stage, hosts and ticketsale. Details will be announced soon, probably.
The EBU is not yet sure about the voting procedure which is to be used at the Eurovision Song Contest. Because 36 countries will vote in the qualifier round, the EBU is searching for a way to save time and to keep the show within 3 hours. One of the ideas, which is not very popular among the fans, is to show all points from 1 to 7 on the scoreboard and to read out only 8, 10 and 12 points. The Reference Group will discuss the matter later this month.