Eurovision.tv has just revealed that SBS — the Eurovision broadcaster for Australia — have signed a deal with the European Broadcasting Union to develop and establish a song contest much like Eurovision, but for the Asia-Pacific region.
SBS, in conjunction with their Eurovision production partner, Blink TV, are now exploring options and ideas to allow up to 20 countries to participate in an Asian and Oceanic live grand final.
The inaugural event would take place within Australia as early as 2017, and then continue to be hosted by other countries within the region from then on. The broadcasting rights will be licensed on a global basis to allow countries in the region to showcase their talents in music to the rest of the world.
SBS Managing Director, Michael Ebeid explained to eurovision.tv that:
“As the official broadcaster of the Eurovision Song Contest for over 30 years, SBS is pleased to explore the opportunity to bring an event of this calibre more closely to our shores, strengthening the multicultural ties in our region. Asia Pacific has a spectacular music culture and the perfect next step to extend the Eurovision brand, bringing its hugely popular appeal beyond Australian audiences and to the wider region.”
The director for Blink TV, Paul Clarke, added:
“Since Moscow 2009, alongside SBS, we have been building Australia’s alliance with the Eurovision Song Contest, a brand that champions diversity, song writers and performers. Blink TV and SBS have been granted an opportunity to grow the Eurovision brand from an audience of 200 million, to a potential Asian audience of more than a billion viewers. I am certain we can build the team for this wonderful opportunity, and we look to partners in our part of the world to join us. Asia has an astonishing set of musical and visual cultures, and it will make for brilliant television.”
Our friends on the other side of the world do already have a non-competitive version of the contest called the ABU TV Song Festival, in which Australian Eurovision 2016 contestant Dami Im participated in back in 2014, but this new competitive concept could bring a whole new element to the world’s largest music competition.
The idea could mean that our friends at Hunan TV in China, for example, may actually get the chance to showcase their music to the world. Such excitement!
Which countries would you like to see at the Asian counterpart of the Eurovision Song Contest? Let us know in the comments below!