Eurovision’s Asia-Pacific spin-off will not take place in 2017


From K-pop to J-pop, the Asia-Pacific region is brimming with fierce sounds and off-the-wall pop. But bringing its artists together in a Eurovision format for Asia takes a lot of planning. And according to Blink TV — the driving force behind the project alongside SBS — it won’t happen in 2017. 

When asked by TV Tonight whether the event would take place this year, a Blink TV spokesperson said: ‘The answer is no, it’s not happening until 2018.”

Blink TV — a comedy, entertainment and music production company — has produced a variety of acclaimed programming, from quiz shows to long-form comedy series, and has worked with media brands including the UK’s Channel 4, Sweden’s SVT and Denmark’s DR. Kylie Minogue, Robbie Williams, Tina Arena — they’ve all worked creatively with Blink.

Eastern promise: 12 acts we want to see at Asiavision 2017

But you guys will know the outfit best for their work at Eurovision, which has resulted in three Top 10 finishes in as many tries, including a jury win for Dami Im back in 2016. They recently produced the Eurovision Top 40 Songs special for SBS Australia.

Earlier this week the company secured big-time investment from Roadshow Films, which will no doubt give it added steam as it moves forward.

“Our big vision is to bring the Eurovision brand to Asia, with the support of SBS and the EBU,” Blink TV’s Paul Clarke said with the announcement. “Roadshow has a strong track record of successfully releasing entertainment projects through Northern Asia.”

You may recognise Paul from the Eurovision green room. He’s the man in the top photo next to Dami.

In March 2016 SBS and the EBU announced a joint-deal to establish an Asiavision Song Contest in 2017 with the first contest being held in Australia. Asiavision is still just a tentative name.

SBS has also been in talks with broadcasters in China, South Korea and Japan. The talks revealed a series of obstacles, including political tensions between the region’s three big music markets. Chinese law actually prohibits the broadcast or streaming of South Korean pop music and entertainment. That bold move came in response to South Korea’s deployment of THAAD — the United States’ Terminal High Altitude Area Defence missile system.

The host city and country for the event have not yet been decided, despite earlier plans for Australia to host the inaugural edition. China was subsequently revealed as the host of the first edition, though it seems plans have changed. Clarke revealed in an interview that he was in talks with Hong Kong, Sydney and Singapore to host the show.

If the contest takes place, there will be wide range of countries who can participate, as ABU members stretch from Turkey to New Zealand and from Mongolia to the Maldives.

Asia’s vision of song contests

The European Broadcasting Union has been trying to secure a presence on the Asian continent for decades, though a successful Asian spin-off of the Eurovision Song Contest has yet to happen.

During the 80s, the Asian-Pacific Broadcasting Union, the Asian counterpart of the EBU, launched the ABU Popular Song Contest. The event only lasted for three years. Subsequent radio contests proved as unsuccessful.

In 2008, the EBU proposed a partnership with its Asian counterpart to establish an Asiavision Song Contest, later rebranded as Our Sound. Officials had hoped to launch it in 2009, but it was rescheduled to take place in March of 2010 in Macau before being rescheduled for India later that year. In the end it never happened.

Not much later, the Asian-Pacific Broadcasting Union announced two different Eurovision-like formats: the non-competitive ABU Radio Festival and the ABU TV Festival. They’ve run since 2012.

Who would you like to see in the first Asia-Pacific Song Contest? Let us know in the comments below!