We’re going live…to China!
As SVT reports, Chinese broadcaster Hunan TV will air the Eurovision Song Contest live both online and on television. This marks the first time Eurovision will hit the Chinese airwaves in real time.
In the past the network, which is known as Mango TV because of its fruity logo, has aired the show on television on delay, and last year it streamed it live online.
“Their interest has been rising, but this year it’s the first time they will broadcast both online and in broadcast,” says Eurovision executive supervisor Martin Österdahl. “It’s very interesting because in the last ten years we’ve noticed that Entertainment Television has lost ground. People have taken it as an example of the death of television. During the same period, Eurovision continues to grow and go against the trend. It says a lot about the power of the event.”
He also suggested that more countries may join Eurovision in the future, and he didn’t rule out China’s participation.
When asked how big Eurovision could become he said: “We know that Australia is competing now and there is increasing interest in Asia.”
He also pointed out the logistical difficulties of broadcasting a show across so many time zones, but added that adjusting the format could help it grow.
Hunan TV is China’s second-most-watched channel behind CCTV-1, which is run by China’s state broadcaster.
They will send a delegation of 12 journalists to watch the proceedings this year in Sweden.
Last year in Vienna we caught up with Ying Lei, an adviser in strategy & business development for the network and China’s Head of Delegation at Eurovision 2015.
According to Ying, the EBU is interested in exploring partnerships with China.
She said: “The EBU said, ‘Let’s see. We are open and are always finding new creative ways to bring new elements to each year’s ESC.'”
Ying also said that Eurovision fans in China can be divided into two camps: Professionals who admire the stage, lighting and design, and ordinary audiences who love the show for its music and fabulosity.
“Regardless of nationality or continents, we admire the best performance,” she says. “We admire the splendid stage setting, whether it’s Europe or China.”
Chinese professionals have already taken inspiration from Eurovision, as seen in Hunan TV’s re-creation of Farid Mammadov’s Eurovision 2013 staging during a New Year’s gala show in 2014.
How do you feel about China’s observation and broadcast of Eurovision? Would you like to see them compete one day?