Last week the EBU announced details of the new voting system. With it came a lot of debate, but a generally positive response. But things weren’t so happy in the microstate of San Marino. Broadcaster SMRTV has come out against the changes, saying the new system “discriminates” against them.

The problem stems from San Marino being too small to have a valid televote. The country uses Italy’s phone system and the small population of the microstate (31,448) means that they would struggle to reach the minimum voting threshold.

Under the old voting system, the San Marino jury’s voting made up the entire San Marino vote. But under the new system — where both the jury vote and televote are counted separately — the EBU will use a composite vote to create a stand-in televote score for San Marino.

As the EBU explained, the “substitute result is calculated by the audience result of a pre-selected group of countries”. It’s thought that the countries would come from the same allocation pot for the relevant country. In San Marino’s case, this could include the Czech Republic, Ireland, Lithuania, Malta or Poland, and perhaps Italy as well.

SMRTV aren’t happy this means effectively half of the San Marino vote will be made up of votes from other countries. They’re also displeased that the EBU made the decision without first discussing the issue with SMRTV.

Is this the end for San Marino?

The station’s Director General Carlo Romeo made this statement, implying that the country may withdraw from the contest next year:

“Small states are, once again, discriminated against. Not only that, now the discrimination is formalised. This is barely tolerable and the San Marino National Radio and Television is unsure whether it can tolerate it next year too. It is unbearable that certain decisions are simply communicated and not shared with the broadcasters involved.”

If San Marino were to withdraw from Eurovision due to the voting, they wouldn’t be the first. Turkey withdrew from the competition in 2013, saying they were displeased with the introduction of the jury vote, despite their second place in 2010 coming under the televote/jury system.

But San Marino are still committed to participating in Stockholm. Turkish singer Serhat will represent the microstate with his yet to be released song. It remains to be seen how the composite vote will compare with San Marino’s jury vote, or indeed if it will effect the overall result of the competition. But there will be a lot of close examination of the scoreboard in May.

What do you think? Should the EBU have consulted with San Marino? Is the microstate over-reacting? How could the televote issue be revolve? Share your thoughts below.

Read more of our San Marino Eurovision news here

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Juan Lugoholt
Guest

I think San Marino should have two juries, the normal one that cast their votes like the remaining 42 countries and the other one representing the Televoting, picking people from the phonelog or so and making them the televoting jury. So they vote like a normal country. Don’t you think?!

Racal
Guest
Racal

@MrGeorpey: Actually they sent Sanmarinese singers to 5 out of 7 contests they took part in, and for such a small country it’s a big achievement! Some other (and bigger) countries should take note.

I really wonder where you’re from, to see if that qualifies as a “non-State” or not (according to some random commenters on a web blog). What a silly, silly, silly comment…

Piotr
Guest
Piotr

Seriously… I dont get it. Last years I heard all the time that juries’ votes have too important role in creating the final scoreboard of the contest (because they can cause that some countries get 12 points from televoting and then because of juries they get 2, 1 or even 0 points and that this sytem is unfair), now countries will get points from juries and fans, noone will “steal” any point from anyone, so.. what’s the problem? San Marino – your songs in general suck. Start sending good entries and then you won’t have any problems with voting systems.… Read more »

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Wouldn’t it be a slight disadvantage to the countries in their pool? Obviously they won’t be voting for themselves, so they miss out on points from San Marino too. Maybe it’s too negligible to matter.

My solution : Two separate juries from San Marino!

Mary
Guest
Mary

Marcus (day one)
Not all coutries are allowed to vote. It’s a dictatorship.

Here is the list of who can vote: http://www.eurovision.tv/page/organisers/reference-group

Marcus (day one)
Guest
Marcus (day one)

Funny thing was didn’t the EBU say that all of the countries unanimously approved it?

Clearly someone’s been lying.

And the EBU has said they approved this last year around the time Portugal did a 180 on their participation.

And after it looked pretty certain Turkey would return they also did a 180.

Maybe they found out what was going to happen and left as a protest.

I think the EBU only let the big spenders vote and didn’t even tell San Marino it would appear.

Nikos
Guest
Nikos

I agree with San Marino, this clearly will benefit the producer’s favorites…
I think doubling the jury would work, or even having two juries.

Also, another idea, why not use the Sammarinese televote WITH the televoting of neighboring Italian provinces like Rimini etc.? Maybe double the Sammarinese televote results so the neighboring Italian voters don’t skew too much.

M
Guest
M

I thought about this first, when I got to know about the system. It is worth to reconsider the voting system, just because of this, as it is totally unfair. Also, I think that this will double the points countries receive, which means that how many points Rybak once achieved, won’t matter anymore, as several performers will bypass his result this year.

Robyn Gallagher
Guest
Robyn Gallagher

cheesecake: “Can’t they just use San Marino’s televoting results, even if it was only coming from a handful of people?” Good question. There are two problems. First, San Marino doesn’t have its own telecoms company – it uses Italy’s, so there is no way to distinguish votes coming from San Marino or Italy. Secondly, even if there were a way of separating out San Marino’s phone lines, the population isn’t big enough to make the televote statistically valid. That is, there would be such a small number of people voting that, say, a busload of visiting Irish tourists all loyally… Read more »

Foxreyna
Guest
Foxreyna

San Marino’s songs are unacceptable smh

Sparrow
Guest
Sparrow

Eurovision has been going down hill in recent years. Too many changes to benifit some countries, not every country.
As much as I’m not a fan of San Marino’s efforts in Eurovision i back them 100% on this. No doubt the points given to SM to use for their public “votes” are going to benifit Sweden and/or the country that the producers are pushing to win.
At the way things are going they might aswell announce the winner before the show even starts.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Yeah, I don’t know why this part of the voting system was changed, personally. It makes no sense whatsoever. It’s not like knowing the San Marino jury vote will spoil the outcome of the dramatic televoting results. San Marino is correct to protest this change.

Mark
Guest
Mark

The Super vote is just not Eurovision. It might work for Melodifestivalen and other national finals because it is the public vote of ONE nation and the points are based on percentage. Also what about Montenegro last year; who would have decided their jury vote since it got disqualified?

Oggie
Guest
Oggie

Totally agree with San Marino that it is unfair to have a substitute vote made up of other countries. If only a jury vote can be provided, then so be it.

EBU – Please re-think this.

Mark
Guest
Mark

SMRTV is perfectly capable of complaining, as well as any other country. It was the first trouble I thought when they announced the new and “revolutionary” voting system. This benefits Sweden and all those pals in the North of Europe. SVT, you already have Melodifestivalen, so why do you want to make a Melodifestivalen in which Melodifestivalen’s winner goes to Stockholm, host city of Melodifestivalen? Eurovision Song Contest was made 61 years ago as a show to unite Europe, but it has transformed into a monopoly leaded by SVT. We all remember just 5 years ago Sweden had won only… Read more »

ct_greece
Guest
ct_greece

SMRTV is absolutely right. The EBU is proposing a flawed system when it comes to states with no valid jury or televote result. How would it be fair if a fake “result” like that is used to disqualify a song in the semis? Or even deternone the winner in a really close race? Plus if you use results from an unspecfied pool of countries, it is clear these countries will be diadvantaged since they can’t vote for themselves. On another note, shame on all the commenters who used this thread to pour hate on little San Marino. Where is your… Read more »

Deemos
Guest
Deemos

Some comments here are absolutely disgusting. Are u true esc fans or Eurovision for you is just the glitter sparkling entries of some rich countries?? It’s pathetic…

EBU must find a solution..After all who is in favour of fake results??

Lawrence Gibb
Guest
Lawrence Gibb

It strikes me as very heavy-handed and not without an element of bullying to suggest that other countries should decide the votes for another participant. In effect this means they could vote for themselves. Furthermore the EBU have, I beliebd, acted with alacrity in voiding votes in recent years without producing solid reasons as to why, simply citing irregularities. I get that the voting needs pepping up but San Marino’s objections are justified. It would be disastrous for the contest to alienate some of its members purely to affect change. Perhaps the balance would be better created by giving countries… Read more »

Denis
Guest
Denis

maybe two different juries: The regular expert jury and a second “public” jury that would be the people’s vote?

oooops
Guest
oooops

But I just realised that there doesn’t exist any OGAE San Marino. They are part of OGAE rest of the world

oooops
Guest
oooops

Agree with Eric C, OGAE San Marino can be used as the televote.

MTD
Guest
MTD

“And the San Marino’s televote votes go to Sweden!!! Because we predetermined that. There’s nothing to see here. Move on.”

Eric C
Guest
Eric C

San Marino is right. There needs to be a way they can televote or a public jury. Maybe OGAE San Marino makes up the other jury.

Denis
Guest
Denis

Here we go again with “SVT rules everything” hate. SVT and Sweden doesn’t rule anything. They don’t have the power to do so, nor does anyone else. SVT only put forward an suggestion about voting change, the reference group are the ones who rule things. The ruling was an unanimous decision, meaning no one voted against it. They don’t need to ask anybody I say SMRTV would do best and wait to see how it will turn out. I find it somewhat hilarious that they amidst all this complaining didn’t come up with a single idea how they could cover… Read more »

MarioMario
Guest

If they import their singers and songwriters, they can import their votes as well. 🙂

Ian D
Guest
Ian D

I can see one solution for San Marino or other micro-states which can’t reach the voting threshold. Have the professional jury as normal, but also offer the Sanmarinese public to volunteer to be part of a public jury. This jury would rank in a similar way to the professionals, and their score would be taken as the televote.

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

Can’t they just use San Marino’s televoting results, even if it was only coming from a handful of people? Who cares since the jury is made up of only five people as well. I’ve always thought that their votes should count as well, because 1) they’re an independent, participating country like all the others and 2) the (few) people voting there still pay to do so, if the votes aren’t counted what’s the point in letting them vote at all? Or do their phone calls automatically flow in the Italian televoting results, as you said they use Italy’s phone system?… Read more »

MGR
Guest
MGR

It is about weak craps from this country. I’m not sure that they deserve to distribution the same number of points as other, better countries.

Leaf
Guest
Leaf

They should just see how it all plays out this year and then make a decision. Cos the excitement of the new voting system might turn out to be very interesting. On the other hand, the producers deciding the running order is a tad fishy to me, I would prefer for the lucky/unlucky draw … It was the most exciting thing after the announcement of the qualifiers. Also SVT not consulting with anyone for changing the rules is tacky in my opinion, I know we all watch that glitter fart called Melodifestivalen but they should be more focused on keeping… Read more »

MrGeorpey
Guest
MrGeorpey

Say yay yay yay! I wish Serhat is the last entry from this non-State aka village which is called San Marino =) It’s so funny that we have to keep on bearing year after year their random entries by singers from Italy, Turkey, or wherever they decide and now they THREATEN us to not come back next year? Okay… Arrivederci!!

Kikki
Guest
Kikki

Hmm, but if San Marino doesn’t give public votes at all, that means they won’t have to give that much points away like the other countries? This is only good thing for San Marino!

AberSam
Guest
AberSam

It is really difficult for San Marino, and I do think a better System needs to be set up for if a countries televote fails. I do like how this system looks, until you get to the bit where votes are made up as a composite…

oooops
Guest
oooops

And they always send artists nit from San Marino.

MGR
Guest
MGR

San Marino always is very weak in the ESC. This contest does not need this country. They were weak in 2014 and they should not be in final.

Adam
Guest
Adam

If Serhat fails to qualify I can see them pulling a Luxembourg and not coming back at all. It is also very rude and stupid to not even consult them before making up that rule about the televote threshold.

Hugh
Guest
Hugh

The fact that they weren’t even consulted beforhand really irks me, and they have every right to be angry at the EBU for essentially halving their vote.

teammarinollama
Guest
teammarinollama

I agree! its rude how their televotes will be based on other countries that’s just corrupt and rude to the country its not their fault they are a small country. why don’t they let them have 2 jurys one with professionals and another with the general public of san marino. it really is simple.

raulescfan
Guest
raulescfan

Don’t say you wouldn’t matter if they withdrew! San Marino is another part of Europe and mustn’t be underrated. Be fair, people. You see that when you like something such as the new voting system and a country appears to be against it you say that you’re not interested anymore on them? That’s not fair and SVT has truly made me sad this time. You should always ask Europe before changing anything.

Jake
Guest
Jake

I actually think that San Marino’s most reasonable approach is to call out SVT and EBU that rules were changed after the countries decided to participate in this year’s contest. I wonder if EBU would penalize countries and give back fees if a country decided to pull out now. I believe that when countries enter the contest the rules have to be established beforehand. If you go to Vegas and decide to sit at a card table and when you are about to sit down one of the players says “well here are the new rules of the game I’d… Read more »

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

It will be interesting to see what countries make up the “pre-selected group of countries.” How is that representative of what the public of San Marino might have voted? They could have got together a group of say 25 or 50 people or more to represent the views of San Marino. Let’s face it 5 people represent the so called “expert “ jury view!! They could of used the jury vote for both like they did before. It was fine last year? I wonder what San Marino would have suggested? Use Italy’s televote? I suppose for the sake of keeping… Read more »

jacob
Guest
jacob

one a more serious note now, the whole situation seems a bit pointless to me – couldn’t they just change the rules and allow san marino’s televote to be valid??? or is it too complicated? 🙂

David Who
Guest
David Who

Ah, local* broadcasters i meant, not host.

David Who
Guest
David Who

All points from San Marino should be decided by Valentina Monnetta (joke). 🙂
I wish the EBU and SVT would consult more with the host broadcasters on changes like this. The message “come together” seems rather weak now, doesn’t it? I don’t want San Marino to leave, but I would understand their reasons if they did.

oooops
Guest
oooops

Even if I am from Sweden, I am also afraid that SVT will be the dictator of ESC. And if not, we will be kicked out sooner or later. But I hope none of this happen.

jacob
Guest
jacob

make more babies then

Racal
Guest
Racal

Arrogant comments about the size of San Marino’s population are completely out of place. Yes, they’re a small State, but they’re still independent and have a very rich history (oldest republic in the world, among others!). Not a fan of their ESC acts, but they deserve equal treatment and respect. And if for one reason or another this new voting system doesn’t suit them, they have the right to say it loud and clear just like any other country. And yes, their jury voting towards Azerbaijan is extremely suspicious, but the one to blame here is Azerbaijan (who would happily… Read more »

Sam
Guest
Sam

@cheesecake That was my worry as well when I first heard about the vote change. Juries have not just been half of the vote, they’ve been a failsafe in case the televote goes wrong or can’t be used. There have been several times in the past 15 years when this has been used. What happens then under the new system? And certainly, this discriminates against San Marino. No matter if you do or don’t like how they vote or who they send to represent them, you can’t say that San Marino’s points coming from other countries isn’t sketchy and unfair.

PaulB
Guest
PaulB

The hypocrisy is astounding. Complaining that half the vote won’t be from San Marino. Neither the singer or songwriter is from San Marino. And for those complaning about SVT deciding to change the voting system, it was the EBU and the Eurovision reference group who made the decision not the host broadcaster

mad-professor
Guest
mad-professor

Why not just double the jury vote then? 1 point becomes 2, etc.

Paul D
Guest
Paul D

And I’m surely not expecting San Marino to be with us in 2017, not that I care much to be honest lol