Czech Republic withdraws from the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest, leaving 40 countries behind on the list of participants for the upcoming festival. OGAE Germany's Marco Brey reported that, based on a statement from the Czech broadcaster.
Czechoslovak Television (predecessor of the current national broadcaster Ceská Televize) broadcasted the Eurovision Song Contest once or twice in the late 60�s. Later, non participation was partly connected with political changes in former Czechoslovakia and, after 1989, with the financial situation of the Czech broadcaster.
As a reason to withdraw, the Czech broadcaster explained that they already have two big events planned in 2005. To avoid a situation in which they have to spread attention over three shows, they decided to withdraw from the 50th Eurovision Song Contest. Earlier, Ondrej Sramek of Ceská Televize said to esctoday.com that the audience share for the Eurovision Song Contest would be 15% in the first year they would broadcast it, whereas a share of 20% would be achieved with a Czech contestant.
Withdrawing from the 2005 contest also means the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) does not have to worry about a list with too many participants. According to the rules, only 40 (and not 41, as on the provisional list of participants issued in November) countries can participate. With this withdraw, the list counts exactly 40 countries. Countries can still withdraw until 15th December without further consequences.
Nevertheless, the Czech public broadcaster already speaks about a possible return in 2006.