Last week, esctoday.com reported that the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), obliged participating broadcasters to cast the qualifier round. Meanwhile, our colleagues from eurosong.be reported that there was no indication to assume that. Supervisor Svante Stockselius cleared the air!
Eurosong.be got information from the Flemish public broadcaster TV1 that indicated each broadcaster was not obliged to broadcast the qualifier round. In reply to this story, Stockselius told esctoday.com that “all participants are obliged to broadcast the qualifier round”.
It may be possible that the EBU only communicated this rule to the broadcasters that do not participate in the qualifier round as it can be assumed that qualifier round participants would broadcast it anyway. Though, this is an unlikely scenario, as there is nothing to suggest that there are two different versions of the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest rules.
This year's Eurovision Song Contest, the first spread over two nights, caused a lot of commotion when France, Poland and Russia, who were directly qualified for the final, refused to broadcast the qualifier round. Therefore, the European Broadcasting Union changed the rules for next year's contest. All countries participating in the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest, including those directly qualified for the final, are now obliged to broadcast the qualifier round.
“If a broadcaster, for some reason, is having major problems in broadcasting the qualifier round, they have the possibility to apply for exception”, Mr Stockselius added.
The qualifier round will take place on Thursday 19th May in Kiev, Ukraine.