One month ago Romanian broadcaster TVR faced sudden withdrawal from European Broadcasting Union member services after the broadcaster had accumulated 16 million Swiss franc of debt over almost a decade. And now it looks like Bosnia and Herzegovina’s broadcaster BHRT may face the same fate, with the broadcaster owing the EBU six million Swiss francs.
BHRT reports that the EBU has given the broadcaster until the end of May to settle part of their debt, and expects further repayment to be made in monthly instalments.
If BHRT does not meet the repayment schedule, the EBU is threatening to withdrawal its member services. For BHRT, the big threat is not having rights to broadcast the upcoming Euro 2016. But it would also include news services, Champions League matches, other football matches involving Bosnia and Herzegovina.
And, of course, it would mean that Bosnia and Herzegovina would not be able to broadcast or participate in the Eurovision Song Contest.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has taken a break from Eurovision from 2013 to 2015, but returned with the supergroup of Dalal & Deen feat. Ana Rucner & Jala and their dramatic song “Ljubav je”. The entry didn’t cost the public broadcaster anything — it was privately funded by commercial sponsors and the artists themselves.
As we saw in Stockholm, Bosnia and Herzegovina has a lot of talent on offer. They’ve been participating in Eurovision since 1993 and we aren’t ready to see them leave again.
Dalal & Deen feat. Ana Rucner & Jala – “Ljubav je” (second rehearsal)
Deen – “In The Disco” (live at #Wiwijam)
What do think of this situation? Is the EBU right to call in the debt? Should BHRT pay up?