RTBF withdraws from Junior contest

by Sietse Bakker 70 views

RTBF, the Belgian public broadcaster of the French-speaking community and co-host broadcaster of the 2005 Junior Eurovision Song Contest, decided to withdraw from participation in future editions of the Junior contest. VRT, the Flemish public broadcaster of the Dutch-speaking community, will permanently take over the national selection. Several Belgian media reported about that today.

This year, Flemish public broadcaster VRT and RTBF took the responsibility to organise the Junior Eurovision Song Contest and the Belgian national selection together. According to unconfirmed speculations, the financial investment is too large for RTBF. Although it was not expected the Flemish-Wallonian co-operation would last, a complete pull-out of RTBF came as a surprise, especially after the successful organisation of the 2005 Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

From 2006 on, VRT will cope with the Belgian national selection for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, which means Belgium will not stay away from the Junior contest. During a press conference, Steve De Coninck-De Boeck announced that this national selection will again be named Eurosong for Kids. VRT immediately opened the 2006 selection as well. Songs can be submitted until 15th February, 2006. More information can be found on eurosongforkids.be.

Yesterday, Eurovision Song Contest supervisor Svante Stockselius said to Belgovision.com that he was happy with the organisation of the Junior contest. The new televoting procedure, during which the 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 points are being given by the hosts instead of the spokesperson, has been positively evaluated. Early 2006 the European Broadcasting Union will decide if the new sytem will be used during the 2006 contest in Athens as well.

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