Kazakhstan: Will Khabar Agency debut in Eurovision 2018?

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 6,576 views

Thunder and lightning it’s getting exciting! The Eurovision rumour mill is boiling hot of late. Will there be any new countries joining the Eurovision party next year? Will we see the much awaited debut of Kazakhstan at the forthcoming 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon?

There has been a lot of buzz regarding Kazakhstan and its possible debut at the Eurovision Song Contest in recent times, the alarms were set off when Kazakh broadcaster Khabar Agency was accepted as an EBU associate member back in 2015. Khabar Agency is an EBU associate member since January 1st 2016.

Many a Eurovision  fan would be delighted to see the country debut in our favourite television show. We haven’t had a debut in the contest since 2008 when San Marino joined the Eurovision family!

Is Kazakhstan elegible to participate in Eurovision?

Kazakh broadcaster Khabar Agency is an associate EBU member and thus NOT ELIGIBLE to compete in the contest, unless the EBU decides to extend a special invite. Kazakhstan has to be formally invited by the EBU to join the competition. It is entirely up to the EBU’s discretion to extend an invite to the country very much like in the case of Australia.

ESCToday contacted Khabar Agency in order to shed more light on a potential Eurovision participation in Lisbon. Khabar Agency responded:

We have no information about Kazakshtan’s participation in Eurovison 2018 yet.

Why does Australia compete?

We must not forget that only active EBU members are eligible to compete at the Eurovision Song Contest. Therefore associate members are not eligible to participate in the contest. What about Australia? SBS is also an associate member of the EBU and has graced the Eurovision stage thrice. Australia is an exception as the broadcaster has been an EBU associate member for circa 30 years and has aired the contest for many years, not forgetting the massive popularity the contest enjoys down under. The Aussies love Eurovision! SBS has been invited by the EBU to compete in the contest on a year to year basis since 2015.

Eurovision broadcast in Kazkhstan

Khabar Agency aired all 3 Eurovision shows from Kyiv earlier this year and has broadcast Europe’s favourite television show many times. The country seems to love Eurovision as the broadcaster has given much exposure and coverage to the contest.

Eurovision 2018

The 2018 Eurovision Song Contest is scheduled to be held on 8, 10 and 12 May in Lisbon, Portugal.

The deadline for broadcasters to officially apply for Eurovision 2018 concluded on 15 September. Hereafter, countries have a grace period until 10 October to confirm their participation or withdraw their application without a penalty.

The final list of the 2018 Eurovision participating countries is expected to be released by the EBU later during the year.