SBS, the Australian national broadcaster has confirmed to ESCToday.com that it will be holding a special press conference on Thursday 5 March at 09:30 AEDT ( 23:30 CET -04 March) in order to announce the 2015 Australian Eurovision act and entry.
The press conference will be held at the Sydney Opera House on Thursday 5 March at 09:30 local time, where both international and local media have been invited to attend. SBS will be releasing more details regarding their 2015 Eurovision participation in due course.
SBS has opted for an internal selection in order to select its Eurovision act and entry for Vienna.
SBS will be collaborating once again with its production partner Blink TV Australia, both of them will be resposible to deliberate the 2015 Australian Eurovision entry. Australia has been broadcasting Eurovision since 30 years.
Blink TV Australia, led by award winning writer and director Paul Clarke, have been producing Eurovision with Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang for SBS since 2009 and their strong partnership with SBS has successfully made Eurovision a must watch television event for Australian audiences.
Australia will air and vote in all 3 Eurovision Song Contest shows. SBS One will air the grand final live on 24 May Sunday morning and will rebroadcast the show on Sunday evening. The Aussies will be able to vote in the event for the very first time along with a pre-elected jury. Julia Zamiro and Sam Pang will once again be responsible to introduce the Aussie audience to the contest and commentate during the shows.
Eurovision is an opportunity for SBS to continue to lead the way in multi-platform event viewing, with extensive coverage across television, online and radio as well as live social media integration into the broadcast. Last year the #SBSEurovision hashtag averaged over 1000 tweets per minute.
SBS Chief Content Officer Helen Kellie says:
Eurovision is a pillar of our annual content strategy. It epitomises SBS’s celebration of diversity and point of difference in our content offering, creating inspired, compelling and engaging event television that unites the nation and gets people talking. This next step in the evolution of Eurovision in Australia allows SBS to build on its world class reputation as an industry leader in delivering multi-platform broadcasting led by our eurovisionaries Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang.
Our production partners Blink TV Australia will once again work with us in delivering an exceptional entertainment experience for Australian audiences, who will no doubt follow the competition even more closely now that we are competing. This exciting news is the first in a series of announcements which SBS will unveil in the coming months, including the big question everyone will be asking: which Australian artist will be representing us on stage in Vienna?
The Story so far..
Earlier last month the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) revealed that Australia would compete at the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, hence will be the 40th country in the competition.
Yes! a total of 40 countries will join the Eurovision party in Vienna next May. In an unprecedented move the EBU and host broadcaster ORF have invited Australia to compete in the 60th Eurovision Song Contest and thus will be #BuildingBridges from Europe to Oceania!
27 countries in the Final
The 60th Eurovision Song Contest taking place this year in Vienna, will be historical since one more country will join the contest. After the successful performance during the interval act in Copenhagen, Australia gained their ticket to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna. The Oceanian country will qualify directly to the Grand Final in 23 May, making the total number of participating countries 27!
It’s a daring and at the same time incredibly exciting move. It is our way of saying; let’s celebrate this party together! states Jon Ola Sand, the Executive Supervisor of the Contest.
While Michael Ebeid, Managing Director says: We are very excited to have secured this historic opportunity for Australia to be represented on the world’s biggest stage at the 60th anniversary of the Eurovision Song Contest and are honoured that the European Broadcasting Union has supported us to achieve this ambition. SBS has been broadcasting Eurovision for over 30 years and we have seen how Australians’ love of the song contest has grown during those years.
Director General Dr. Alexander Wrabetz from the host broadcaster ORF states- The song contest has developed in its history to become the biggest TV entertainment event in the world. With the participation of Australia, together with our partners at the EBU and SBS, we have succeeded to lift it to a new global level and to build another bridge for the 60th anniversary. A bridge that spans the globe, starting from the heart of Europe.
Following the long tradition of attending the Eurovision Song Contest in Australia, the EBU decided to grant access to this major event to the public broadcaster despite last year’s teasing by the organizing committee.
How will it work?
According to the rules, SBS, the broadcaster will have to submit their entry by 16 March. The song can be selected by any format the broadcaster decides. The reason Australia participates directly to the Final is mainly because the organizers wanted to avoid reducing the chances of semi-finalists to participate in the Final, as Australia’s participation is honorably given. In case the country wins the contest, then SBS will co-host the show in European capital along with an EBU Member Broadcaster.
How will Australia vote? Can we vote for Australia?
The EBU, SBS and Digame are working on a way to allow the Australian audience to cast their votes during the three shows. More news will follow up soon! Despite the time difference – it’s early Sunday morning in Australia while Europe watches the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday evening – the EBU’s international voting partner Digame is exploring possibilities to allow the Australian public to vote in both Semi-Finals and in the Grand Final. Viewers in all other 39 participating countries also have the possibility to vote for the Australian contestant. As usual, no one can vote for his or her own country.
Can Australia and countries from other continents compete in Eurovision?
Australia’s Eurovision Song Contest participation is a one-off initiative. But throughout its 60 years of development, new elements have been introduced to keep the Eurovision Song Contest exciting, surprising and relevant to the spirit of time. Who knows what the future will bring, as excitement about this European tradition spreads to other countries around the world!
Australia in Eurovision
Last year, Australia was given the chance to perform for the first time on the Eurovision stage, when Jessica Mauboy sang during the inteval act of the second semi-final.