Tabloids complain about the expense of Eurovision. But David, our Colorado correspondent, believes the contest could be a cash cow for state broadcasters. Here’s how they can get the milk flowing.
Countries that participate in Eurovision should not lose money. With the audience share that the contest draws, state broadcasters should be able to turn a nice profit. That kind of thinking would surely have changed Spain’s thinking at Eurovision 2012. Perhaps the Spanish Finance Ministry would actually have stuffed the ballot box for Pastora Soler rather than asking her to take a dive in Baku. Angela Merkel might even have prayed for a Greek victory so Athens could eliminate its debt.
Why not run ads during the breaks? Large corporations would happily pay big bucks for spots telling you how they are really terrific companies that love ESC, so you should love them. You’ll surely get a couple of ads about feminine protection (think “pink colored UZIs”) and Viagra (I have no idea what that is. Never needed it, I swear.)
The ads will probably be more entertaining than the inane chit-chat we get from the hosts when there’s a break while they re-set the stage. I much rather hear Carola talk about feminine hygiene or Engelbert Humperdinck discussing products that reverse hair loss than listen to Eldar from Ell & Nikki talk about…pretty much anything. They would also prove to be way more entertaining than the interval acts that precede the voting. Think about it. What’s more painful – the break dancers Germany had during the counting or an ad by Barclays Bank telling you that they’re really, really sorry about that LIBOR thing and they promise never to do anything wrong again?
And we’ll then see every country participate. No matter how bad their act, state broadcasters will have that nice income stream from the broadcast. Get ready for Lichtenstein with “Three Guys who won Friday Night’s Karaoke Contest.” Nothing says ESC like having an act or five that are so horrible that you appreciate San Marino. And that’s a small price to pay so that Rambo Amadeus has company.
In all seriousness though, why not? What is the downside of selling some ads during the broadcast?