It’s been a stormy couple of weeks for Portuguese Eurovision fans and for RTP. After an awkward, but expected exit from Eurovision 2016 in Stockholm, the national broadcaster has received criticism from almost everyone regarding their content decisions, which favor bull fights, sporting events and imported TV franchises over ESC — the world’s biggest musical extravaganza.
Following the launch of a crowdfunding campaign, which is still light years away from its goal of raising £200,000, fans are calling on Portugal’s Parliament to discuss the issue. They’ve launched a petition on Petição Pública, which you can read here.
“Is it acceptable that in Portugal there is no television program that defends and promotes original music made in Portugal,” the petition asks. “Is this not the mission of public television?”
Angry fans keep fighting
Lunatic fans — we say that with love, and count ourselves among them — don’t plan to give up.
At the time you’re reading this, Jaime Fernandes, a director and viewer ombudsman at RTP, is reading hundreds of angry letters from fans criticizing RTP’s behavior towards musical culture and Eurovision. Jaime’s job is to analyze viewer concerns, get answers to their questions and replicate them in his weekly 10 minute tv-spot.
We expect RTP to issue a new statement regarding the situation in the coming days and weeks.
Portuguese fans have been quick to point out RTP is shelling out cash to import foreign singing franchises such as The Voice. And it seems that RTP can justify that. On October 11 the third season of the series drew a record 1,100,000 viewers, giving the public station a ratings win on a Sunday night. Rival network TVI and its reality shows have been winning that time slot for years.
Do you think that fans can get their questions to Parliament? Is there any hope RTP will cobble together the funds and reverse its decision? Although they’ll incur a penalty, they have until the end of the month to claim a spot at Eurovision 2016.