The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), has just held their press conference concerning the voting of the semi final and regarding the final on Saturday 15th May 2004. The change to the voting was cleared up and it was explained exactly what went wrong in Monaco and Croatia which led to the change in results 11-22. The press were promised nothing had changed from placing 1-10 and that the margin between tenth and eleventh place was in fact quite large.
The EBU representatives including Svante Stockelius started by telling the press how happy they were with the way the semi final had turned out, that it was of a high professional quality and that they were pleased with the shape that the evening took.
The EBU stated that they have identified a problem with the sound during the semi final, have alerted TRT, and will do their best to sort the sound problems out for Saturday night to ensure the highest sound quality possible.
The EBU stated that in this day and age televoting technology should be perfect. They stated that the system ensures transparancy, a word used throughout the press conference to describe the televoting. The EBU wants people to see how the system works. The bad news is, they stated, that becuase they adopt this promise of transparacy, they deliver all mistakes when they happen rather then hiding them in the hope they will not come out. They started the lengthy explanation of televoting by firstly saying they were very pleased with their co-operation with the official televoting contractor, and that the quality of the system, the speed and the efficiency was superb. The problem they explained lay not with the televoting system itself but with two particular countries, Croatia and especially Monaco.
No one voted in Monaco
It was explained how there is a six minute window in which to gather results, sift and sort through them before finally drawing up a table of results and presenting them with a delay of five seconds. When it came to Monaco, the results came back as 22 �nil points� indicating that not one person had voted in Monaco and that Monaco therefore awards no points. The EBU then called up Monaco and had them double check results and send confirmation that this was the case. Monaco replied saying it was, and that not one person voted. The problem, they stated, was technical. However at the time due to the confirmation and the double check these results had to be accepted. Usually in a case of emergency the votes of a country would be deleted and the back up jurors votes used. However official confirmation meant an obligation to accept what Monaco was saying, that no one had voted.
In Croatia, it was a different and more staight foward problem. Croatia awarded themselves 4 points. The EBU explained that no matter how many times the audience is told not to vote for their own country, people still try it. Sure enough Croatians voted for themselves. Usually the service provider in each country is told to delete votes for the home country and simply reject them. The Croatian system failed to delete them and included them in the vote.
Can it happen again?
The EBU stated that these two countries will be watched closely during the final and that the fault lies with the native broadcasters and television companies for not providing the correct checks and having a failing system of their own. The problems with televoting in Ireland 2003 was brought up by one press memeber and why it took a week to find the fault, but just a few hours to rectify the mistake this time round. The EBU replied that Ireland were watched closely and everything went very well. They came back to the issue of transparancy as to why so quickly the votes were changed. They also said that both Monaco and Croatia notified the EBU today of the problem and that Monaco is providing a full report into what went wrong. This will be available for all to read. From now on each televote in each country has to recieve at least 100 votes in order for it to be valid. Otherwise the jury votes will be used instead.
Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2004
Svante Stockselius told esctoday.com that the EBU are currently in talks with ITV in the United Kingdom, but that the Junior Eurovision Song Contest will not take place in Manchester. A new host city and venue is being looked into, no decisions have been made.