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.

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Charles
Charles
4 years ago

@Alex: RTP taking Eurovision seriously? That is main doubt of this whole mess … because for the most part specially since Eurovision changed top fast and so radically over the course of the last 18 years or so, seeing RTP really interested in investing on the competition both at heart and musically has been a complete zero … maybe 2008 and 2009 gave us something to smile about but I personally stick to the 2003 and 2010 entries, the so called “boring ballads”, but as far as commitment goes and knowing RTP as have for the last 10 years, one… Read more »

Alex
Alex
4 years ago

That being said, though, it is a shame that one of the few countries in the competition that provides some linguistic and musicological diversity in the contest will not be present next year. For me, 2009 was evidence that Portugal could provide something very beautiful and unique to the contest. Those days may be long gone, but maybe sometime in the future RTP can shake itself up a little and actually take ESC seriously. They even had a good vocalist this year, but no matter how much Leonor tried with her performance, that song was not going to take them… Read more »

Alex
Alex
4 years ago

RTP wasn’t really trying in 2015, so at least they’re being honest for 2016…

Charles
Charles
4 years ago

@CookyMonzta:I do not disagree with you and I can clearly see your point, with the difference that variety in music in Eurovision is a question that does not result necessarily from the number of countries but the chosen music in itself … I rather have awesome 30 songs that showcase true quality and maybe some worth listening variety in style and sound – for as long as it remains good, than 40 something loads of rubbish that scream one message “Vote for me!” That is not the true purpose of music inside or outside of a competition and if you… Read more »

WTF
WTF
4 years ago

@CookyMonzta: I hope those people are not the same ones who were slating Portugal for their supposed stubbornness and their “outdated” entries…

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
4 years ago

@Charles: Because the more countries in this competition, the more likely the competition will have greater variety. That’s why the people want as many entries as possible. 35 to 39 countries in the contest is nothing to sneeze at; but if so many countries withdrew to the point where 30 countries (or fewer) showed up, that would set off all kinds of alarms, because at that point, the cultural variety in the competition stands a chance of being greatly diminished.

sjkdjd
sjkdjd
4 years ago

@marcus
“I don’t care about Portugal” You are not the only one! Europe in general doesn’t care about Portugal!!! But you should have a more open mind, Portugal can be a surprise in 2017, etc… but with your ignorance(europeans in general) to respect to Portugal … I doubt Portugal win the ESC for the first time… *cries in portuguese*
2004? this song is one of the worst Portugal sent! xD
Thanks for “defending” the Portuguese fans!

Charles
Charles
4 years ago

@Pedro Ribeiro: It’s the typical “less-than-40-countries-no-way” philosophy of many fans who believe, for some reason, that the fun and the party element of Eurovision, which, again, it’s a song contest, are threatened by any country that withdraws … nobody liked that in 2013 there were less than 40 countries competing. Any logical reason? Hell no! But did that affect the quality of the entries? Hell no! Having said this, Portugal out of the 2016 competition … seriously … nobody cares … but some fans do for no reason.

Pedro Ribeiro
Pedro Ribeiro
4 years ago

Well for a country that is known for being relatively peaceful, it’s creating quite a fuss for the last few weeks, perhaps this is a strategy of RTP to bring Portugal up and rise like a phoenix, in 2017 (hopefully :s)

Charles
Charles
4 years ago

@EugeneESCUK: Count this as eight and have fun with maths … kids love this. And yes, you should have moved on from me a long time ago … or maybe even better yet: why did you even bother convincing me that I am wrong when you clearly know more about what BBC sees in ESC than what clearly RTP couldn’t care less? But hey it must have been fun, right? 🙂 And I may be spoiled brat, my brit side allows me to be like that, after all 15 times runner up in the competition I live in the country… Read more »

Marcus (Day One)
Marcus (Day One)
4 years ago

Sorry @Denis

I ment to tag @mawnck

😉

Marcus (Day One)
Marcus (Day One)
4 years ago

Ok one final comment for the Tyrants 🙂 @Charles @Denis I couldn’t care less about Portugal at Eurovision. I dislike all of their songs (except 2004) My whole argument was that you called Portuguese fans spoiled Brats because they wanted THEIR broadcaster to listen to them. They set up a petition because that’s what you do to get a big companies attention. People who are Spoiled Brats are very stubborn on their believes a point which you have made very clear since you refuse to let this go. Since Portuguese people (Like most Europeans) are FORCED to pay for their… Read more »

@EugeneESCUK
4 years ago

Charles :- Make that SEVEN posts now!! I have already given my opinion on this topic and there is no need to keep repeating it over and over, readers are entitled to their opinions. I only posted on this blog because of your “bully boy” rhetoric i.e. “spoiled brat” comments 1:35 and 6:04. And this is my last post on this subject; certainly to quote you, you can of course carry on and as you say of yourself “act like a twat all on my own”. There really are “far more concerning issues” I agree with that bit funny enough.… Read more »

Charles
Charles
4 years ago

@EugeneESCUK: The simple fact that you allow yourself to both: reply me and act like an “a” considering your knowledge on Portuguese TV culture (questionable) just makes me sad. You should know better … but apparently you are as pathetic as anybody else here including me. Really? Do you want to follow that path? Wouldn’t it be smarter to just ignore me and let me act like a twat all on my own? Come on … even RTP’s withdrawal sounds way wiser than your choices … Unless you refuse to accept that RTP is withdrawing just because they just don’t… Read more »

Denis
Denis
4 years ago

One final word, though not much else is going on in the world of Eurovision. Conspiracy theorists will love this whole thing., no doubt. So many questions to draw from.. If they are in financial difficulties then how come they participate every year except those when Sweden hosted? And how will they know they will be back in 2017 if they are in crisis? And if the really want to prioritize sports does that mean there are no major sport events or bull-fighting in 2017? Doesn’t that sort of send a signal to the fans though, as long as there… Read more »

@EugeneESCUK
4 years ago

Charles :- You really do make me laugh!! You are such an angry young man and you get so upset by readers’ comments. You seem more interested in responding to what the readers say than the blogs!! For someone who said “there are far more concerning issues”, you have clearly spent the most time on this page, only SIX posts SO FAR!!!!!! How strange, how funny.

(I wonder if Charles and Mawnk are the same person?)

Charles
Charles
4 years ago

@mawnck: Thank God, someone who gets it … jesus!!!!

Charles
Charles
4 years ago

@Denis: The answer to your question is only one: Ratings … and the lack of interest from the majority. Minorities is not even an issue that concerns any major TV broadcaster. Whether that upsets you or not, it is what it is … and we are just common people, they are the broadcasters …they will always do the hell they want. Paying taxes or not … it is totally irrelevant for whatever the broadcaster decides or not to show. Plus: RTP is not the most followed broadcaster in the country, the people rather follow the two private stations: SIC and… Read more »

mawnck
mawnck
4 years ago

“For 2016 RTP haven’t even given a proper excuse” Why do they need a proper excuse? Honestly, the entitlement around here … “Also, what kind of public broadcaster has to prioritise and satisfy only certain parts of the population?” One that has to stay within a budget. Have you even made a cursory attempt to understand how public broadcasting works? Can you please step outside your own head for just a few minutes and consider the big wide world of reality out here? Tell you what … ALL the Portuguese Eurovision fans SHOULD stop paying their TV taxes. Let’s see… Read more »

Denis
Denis
4 years ago

If anyone actually think they will change anything in 2017 you are mistaken. Nothing will change, the format will stay exactly the same and so will the songs. And then after some time they will take yet another break and blame it on either lack of money, viewer ship or both. They said the same thing in 2014, that they will be back with a bang. The result was even worse songs than before their break Also, what kind of public broadcaster has to prioritise and satisfy only certain parts of the population? Everyone should have access to the events… Read more »

Charles
Charles
4 years ago

@Marcus (Day One). You really missed my point but I appreciate the in-depth explanation, which once again, has nothing to do with music. Broadcasters with lame excuses? Fans mad about it? Money being spent? Or lack of it? Really? This is how deep the love and passion for a SONG competition goes? Focusing so much on backstage BS drama when we should be excited for the upcoming music? Is this the definition of being a fan of Eurovision AKA everything little crap matters but the music can wait? I mean ONE damn country while there are other nearly 40 already… Read more »

sjkdjd
sjkdjd
4 years ago

I am the only Portuguese “fan” who agrees with the exit of Portugal in Eurovision 2016? If the RTP promised that he would return in 2017, there isn’t reason for so much drama.

Leaf
Leaf
4 years ago

Their best score is being 6th in over 40 years and in this economy ….. I would say, take a break If u want Portugal …. Refocus/Regroup !!!

Marcus (Day One)
Marcus (Day One)
4 years ago

@Charles I shall explain it to you as to why people are mad at this. In 2013 RTP said they couldn’t afford it. Fair enough For 2016 RTP haven’t even given a proper excuse and won’t release a statement until after the EBU’s deadline so if they give a lousy reason people can’t ask them to reverse it and RTP can just say if it wasn’t for the deadline they would compete. But promise to be back next year. Whats different about next year? Why won’t they prioritise sporting events agian in 2017? What’s stopping them from doing the same… Read more »

Huh
Huh
4 years ago

The fans’ separation anxiety over Portugal’s withdrawal is very strong in this one. And I really find the recent controversies with regards to this country’s participation in the Eurovision as very weird. Suzy’s death threats and this… I understand that people immediately forgot about Suzy’s issue after performing in the 2014 semi final. Nothing we can do about it now. But with this, I am and will be no longer surprised if people will immediately get over this.

Charles
Charles
4 years ago

Eurovision SONG contest … that is what it’s still called after 60 years … but for the last 17 it became increasingly about wanting COUNTRIES and more countries on it and also so many other things I rather not comment on because I better give the so called fans the chance to think on what makes them a fan of this whole thing (hi Dana International?) Shouldn’t we be discussing the music? Or is this just an entertaining escapism while the real thing doesn’t start to boil in all over again? Crying over Portugal NOT wanting to take part of… Read more »

mawnck
mawnck
4 years ago

“This is a site for commenting Eurovision by people who are interested in it.”

Can’t we be interested in it, but STILL think it would be silly for Portugal to participate if they don’t want to?

“As a public broadcaster it’s your duty to provide entertainment and events that interest the public.”

But the Portuguese DON’T WATCH IT!

sjkdjd
sjkdjd
4 years ago

Keep calm and vote our neighboors (SPAIN)

mocosuburbian
mocosuburbian
4 years ago

as if the parliament is going to care about a contest nobody watches in portugal
let’s be real
the fans trying to bring portugal back have as much of a chance as me attempting to make the US debut

Denis
Denis
4 years ago

This is a site for commenting Eurovision by people who are interested in it. If you’re not interested in it then what the hell are you doing here? There are bigger issues out there but that’s not the point. Bull-fighting and sports aren’t exactly earth-shattering issues either but people still care about it. That’s how it is with us and Eurovision. For us it’s not silly As for Portugal not competing, I think RTP missed an important issue here, namely the public interest. As a public broadcaster it’s your duty to provide entertainment and events that interest the public. Eurovision… Read more »

@EugeneESCUK
4 years ago

There is only one “spoiled brat” on this page as far as I can see!! I concur with Marcus. Wiwibloggs is only reporting on the news and ESC Portugal certainly continues to be in the news. People are doing what they feel they need to do. Is there something wrong with that? The only thing I would say is that there does not seem to be many Portuguese fans supporting these initiatives though!! The comment above is interesting :- “We expect RTP to issue a new statement regarding the situation in the coming days and weeks.” What makes you say… Read more »

Marcus (Day One)
Marcus (Day One)
4 years ago

I like how they’re people commenting on a EUROVISION website saying people shouldn’t care that much about Eurovision. Then why are you commenting on here? @Charles If they are bigger issues then why are you on this page. Go deal with your bigger issues rather than be rude to those who care about something. People care a lot about some men kicking a ball around for 90 minutes so why can’t people care about a song competition. Since Portugal is a democratic country the public have a say and since RTP is a PUBLIC broadcaster the PUBLIC (however small a… Read more »

Charles
Charles
4 years ago

@John Christian: Unless tomorrow is the apocalypse and if Portugal’s taking part can cure world’s hunger, AIDS or cancer … then maybe I would support. But even in your Portuguese wish you sound like a spoiled brat kid wanting that one toy because … there is no because … . This is just a TV show not a political problem, get over such obsession and have a life. Nobody is going to die!

José
José
4 years ago

The crowdfunding campaign only has £49 so far, and only 1 person from Portugal donated something. The petition has under 200 signatures regardless all the promotion hardcore eurofans give to it. Eurovision nights tend to have the worst results for RTP in terms of viewers. Most people don’t even know RTP won’t participate in Eurovision next year because they simply don’t even care, and while eurofans are mad, the comments on newspapers like Diário de Notícias show that the rest of people actually liked the decision of not participating. The arguments used by eurofans to convince RTP to participate are… Read more »

Ariso Light
Ariso Light
4 years ago

I hope Portugal will compete in 2016 but they probably won’t as it looks like RTP has a problem with SVT! 🙁

Herr Freitag
Herr Freitag
4 years ago

Portugal is out of Eurovision in 2016 – they must accept that! The government won’t help them and RTP will come back in 2017 (But if Sweden will win in 2016, than not) 😀 That’s RTP’s decision and we must accept that.

sjkdjd
sjkdjd
4 years ago

Regarding the petition, my countrymen have the right to petition, because we are a democratic country since 1974. Now I hope that our neighbors are able to bring a victory for the Iberian peninsula next year, it may be that motivate RTP and the Portuguese people don’t lose hope and fight for 1st victory!
GO SPAIN!

sjkdjd
sjkdjd
4 years ago

If the RTP didn’t like in Sweden wouldn’t have commentators and transmit live on ESC 2016. In 2000 Portugal didn’t participate because of ESC’s rules, Portugal this year held a Festival da Canção. In 2000 we had a ballad supposed to bring to ESC, watch on youtube: “Liana-Sonhos Mágicos” . In 2013 we had two consecutive bad results and we were being “pressured” by the Troika. In addition to RTP during these years changed its CEO. (sorry of my grammarians mistakes)

Marcus (Day One)
Marcus (Day One)
4 years ago

RTP just doesn’t like SVT
They cannot blame finacial reasons like they did in 2013 because the broadcaster is doing quite well finacianally and remeber they did want to compete in JESC so they must have avaliable funds.

I think RTP should give up the rights to eurovisions or the EBU should collabarate with other broadcasters because RTP is not representing public opinion. Also eurovision isn’t allowed to be political and it seems RTP is withdrawing for those exact reason.

Yet another reason why I hate that Sweden won this year. (I’m sure if Italy won then Portugal would compete)

John Christian
John Christian
4 years ago

This is not a joke. This is real! RTP, por favor, para o bem da sua nação morrendo, reverter essa decisão! Os fãs portugueses do Festival Eurovisão da Canção agora estão com raiva!

MirkoJoshua
MirkoJoshua
4 years ago

GO PORTUGAL GO <3

Charles
Charles
4 years ago

This has become a joke … for heaven’s sake .. there are far more concerning issues to be honestly discussed than a spoiled brat baby insisting on wanting the same already broken toy.

jr esc nl
jr esc nl
4 years ago

Yeah 🙂

DenizNL
DenizNL
4 years ago

@ jr esc nl

Yeah I read that. That would be a really cool and unexpected surprise.

Azaad
Azaad
4 years ago

The only country where Eurovision becomes a political issue is in Azerbaijan…I don’t know why the government is getting the blame. RTP is a public broadcaster, but they still make up their own minds without the input of the government. In fact, the government would like Portugal to enter and win because having a major global event hosted in Lisbon would draw in so much tourism.

I wish fans in BH were this enthusiastic to send their country to Eurovision.

jr esc nl
jr esc nl
4 years ago

What’s also kinda interesting is that lebanon is still considering participation in esc 2016 according to eurovoix.

Bronson
Bronson
4 years ago

Give it up already. You could have enough money and all the government support behind you, but RTP is the broadcaster, and without a broadcaster, you can’t go to ESC. Nobody’s particularly happy about it but let’s just hope this is a wake up call so Portugal can actually send entries from the 21st century.

jr esc nl
jr esc nl
4 years ago

Maybe it’s a good idea to send the winner of the voice to esc for portugal and to select the song internally.