In a press conference held this morning, the Lithuanian broadcaster LRT explained its plans for the country's national selection for Eurovision 2010. The submissions deadline has been set on January 24th, and it was revealed that 2 or 3 “visible” names in the Lithuanian music industry are interested in taking part in the competition.
The 2010 Lithuanian selection is restricted to Lithuanian performers or permanent residents only. In the case of bands, some of their members should be of Lithuanian citizenship. This rule does not apply to songwriters.
All those interested in submitting songs can do so until the 24th of January. The Lithuanian national final will take place in February or March, although the exact date has not been disclosed yet. It is expected that the public will have a say on the final outcome. The final list of selected performers will be made public on February 1st or 2nd. During the press conference, it was announced that 2-3 popular names within the Lithuanian show business have already applied.
Lithuania was strongly feared to leave the Eurovision Song Contest owing to serious financial difficulties. Finally, it was possible for them to gather funding from the company Teo LT, a division of the TeliaSonera group and "the largest integrated telecommunication, IT andtelevision services provider in Lithuania", as they describe themselves. According to Nerijus Ivanauskas, deputy director of the company, "it was decided to support LRT for two reasons: the international image of Lithuania and Teo LT digital development". The exact sum spent by Teo LT has not been disclosed, although it was previously reported that the needed amount to carry out the Eurovision preparations in Lithuania is 300,000 litas (around 90,000 euro).