Svante Stockselius has confirmed to esctoday.com that there will be no change in the rules concerning who hosts the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest. An article appearing on the Spanish website abc.es wrote that Mr. Stockselius had claimed that there would be two semi finals in 2008, the winning country would take part in the semi finals and would not have the advantage or obligation of performing in their own land. The news spread to several other sites.
Mr. Stockseliusquickly replied to a request from esctoday.com to clarify the situation, saying that "Of course we will keep the rule that the winner will also host next year. That is one of the basic elements in the format".
It does seem certain, however, that a two-semi final system will be introduced after Helsinki, although no further discussions have taken place since the Head of Delegations meeting in Helsinki on March 12th-13th. Various ways of dividing participating countries into the two semi finals are being considered. This means that the 2008 host broadcaster will have to stage three live broadcasts as the Eurovision Song Contest continues to expand.