Eurovision fans in Italy are smiling ear to ear with the news that RAI — Italy’s public broadcaster — will move the grand final to its principle channel RAI 1 in 2016. Since Italy’s return in 2011, the finale has been aired on RAI 2, the main station’s less popular little sister. The contest in Stockholm will mark the first time in 25 years that Eurovision has been given the plum spot on the plum network on Saturday primetime. The last time that happened was in 1991, when Italy hosted the contest in Rome.
The move isn’t just to celebrate the fact Il Volo won last year’s televote. As Soundsblog.it explains, this is a numbers game — and Eurovision brought in some impressive figures last year. RAI 2 clocked around 3.3 million viewers, which was good enough for a 16.3% market share.
Sanremo as national selection
That’s not all folks. Eurofestival News is reporting that Italy will once again use Sanremo to select its Eurovision 2016 artist. The artist will come from the “Campioni” division, which caters to established artists and last year saw the likes of Nina Zilli and Lara Fabian competing.
Since returning to Eurovision in 2011 Italy has landed in the Top 10 every year except 2014, when Emma Marrone finished a disappointing 23rd.
Are you loving all the news coming out of Italy? Why does Sanremo work well as a selection? Let us know in the comments box below!