As recently reported, 2016 host broadcaster SVT is proposing that the start time of Eurovision be moved from 21:00 to 20:00 CET. The reasoning – as it is, the broadcast can end up running past midnight in most time zones, which makes viewing Eurovision difficult for children.
“Time, time, don’t let me down,” sang Izabo in 2012. But is the current 21:00 CET time slot of Eurovision letting down viewers in eastern countries?
As more nations have joined Eurovision over the decades, more time zones have been added to the mix. This means that when the broadcast is finishing at 23:00 in Manchester, Porto and Belfast, it’s midnight in Brussels, Milan and Oslo, and 1:00 in Athens, Tel Aviv, and Helsinki. Many Eurovision fans from the UK and Ireland have fond memories of watching the show as children, so why not make this easier for the kids of Central and Eastern Europe?
But what about tradition? People throwing Eurovision parties would have an hour of pre-show partying taken away. And what about busy commuters who’d be rushing home to see the semi-finals at 19:00 in Dublin and Lisbon? Let’s also consider that in some countries staying up late is a normal part of the culture – just look at the very Italian, very late-running Sanremo Music Festival that goes well into the midnight hours.
How do you feel about the proposed change?