Israel: KAN opens tender for Eurovision 2019 national selection

by Roy Knoops 732 views

It’s getting exciting in Israel as broadcaster KAN has launched the tender for the Eurovision 2019 national selection process.

Who will follow Netta as Israel’s representative on home soil at Eurovision 2019, and how will this be decided? Broadcaster KAN (IPBC) has released the tender that invites broadcasters and production companies that wish to co-operate in Israel’s Eurovision 2019 selection process.

Due to financial considerations, KAN has again opted to outsource the national selection to other channels.

In the past years the show HaKokhav HaBa (“The Next Star”) on Keshet 12, produced by Keshet Broadcasting, was successfully used as Israel’s national selection method.

The winners of HaKokhav HaBa since 2015 have consistently reached the Grand Final of Eurovision (Nadav Guedj, Hovi Star, IMRI), culminating in the phenomenal Eurovision 2018 victory of Netta Barzilai.

The Next Star shining bright – or The X Factor on the rise?

Keshet’s HaKokhav HaBa seems to tick all of  KAN’s boxes when in comes to requirements: they have the budget to (co-)produce a show that will reach a major public during prime time over the course of several months, they may provide promotional material spread over various platforms, and they have the incentive to create accompanying content such as documentaries and interviews.

Moreover, HaKokhav HaBa has proven to be very popular, incidentally expanding the popularity of Eurovision in Israel.

Yet, other popular talent shows may also consider responding to the tender. The X Factor Israel on channel Reshet 13 might be a contender. Matching The X Factor to Eurovision may not be so surprising, as Malta has also recently opted to drop the annual Malta Eurovision Song Contest in favour of The X Factor Malta in finding its 2019 Eurovision representative.

Another possible option could be linking Eurovision to the popular show The Voice Israel, also broadcast on Reshet 13.

Keshet, as producer of HaKokhav HaBa, will very likely enter a bid for the Israeli Eurovision 2019 selection process.

A bit of constructive criticism

Outsourcing the production of the Israeli Eurovision 2019 national selection may have led to subsequent Eurovision success, KAN has also received some criticism for its approach.

Since Eurovision is such a prestigious project, critical voices argue that the public broadcaster’s decision to include commercial channels in the selection process is undesirable.

For instance, in a comment to KAN’s financial claims, a corporate source cited on web portal Walla! states:

These claims are nonsense, and before the Eurovision program and the preliminary programs, there was a total of about 1.5 million shekels in the past, why does the corporation need a sub-agent? The Eurovision Song Contest is a flagship program of public broadcasting – why does the corporation give it up again to others?

However, KAN remains firm in its approach to the Eurovision selection process, as more money means a better show and teaming up with a commercial channel means reaching a larger public plus a more diverse, modern input from the music industry.

KAN says:

The tender is open to all, without any preference, and unlike in the past, the corporation wants to be involved and fully involved in the process. Urgent schedules and costs are alongside the fact that we should focus this year on the production of the Eurovision Song Contest.

With the tender for Israel’s national Eurovision selection launched, and more news regarding the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest’s dates and venues expected in September 2018, the country is diligently getting ready to host Europe’s favourite show!

The search for the successor of Netta, who won the Grand Final of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest with Toy, may begin.