Helsinki 2007: The Shape of Things to Come

by Richard West-Soley 61 views

The Eurovision Song Contest 2007 is starting to take shape as the key issues, in particular funding and sponsorship, are tackled by the host broadcaster YLE. Recently, Kjell Ekholm – Finnish member of the EBU Reference Group for the song contest, and head of YLE's Swedish Entertainment leg – was widely quoted on his own concerns and vision for the 2007 edition.

With a reported four million Euros earmarked by the Finnish government to support the contest, support is there on a national level. But with a budget of 13 million Euros (still considerably smaller than the Athens balance sheet), it looks unlikely that YLE can pull the feat off alone.

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"We don't have unlimited resources" explains Ekholm, although hosting the contest outside Finland, as was suggested in the first days after Lordi's win in Athens, is out of the question. Eurovision 2007 is a prime PR opportunity for Finland, and to seize that opportunity the organisers will almost certainly do as the Greeks did in 2006, and as many have done before them, and hire in the extra muscle from overseas. Swedes and Estonians, both from former host nations, look likely to be the prime candidates, along with the Germans who took care of the contestants' pyros in Greece.

YLE does have at least one thing in its favour – its firm track record of hosting and broadcasting large events, particularly of the sporting variety. This experience will be the foundation on top of which the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 begins to form.

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Richard West-Soley

Senior Editor

Richard's ESC history began way back in 1992, when he discovered the contest could fuel his passion for music and languages. Since then, it's been there at every corner for him in some way or another. He joined the team back in 2006, and quickly developed a love for writing about the contest. In his other life, he heads the development team at the learning resources company Linguascope, and writes about all aspects of language learning on the site