Following the news earlier in the week that the Luxembourg government will debate the possibility of the Grand Duchy returning to Eurovision, national broadcaster RTL has responded, explaining that the small broadcaster does not have the funds to enter, and would definitely not be able to host.
Belgian magazine Télépro spoke to Steve Schmit, the director of programming for RTL Luxembourg and got the low-down on the likelihood of a Luxembourg return.
For RTL, the problem is mostly financial. As Schmit explained, RTL is a small station that only produces two hours of local television per day. While RTL is a commercial channel it does have public service requirements, but that “our strategy is focused on information and magazines.”
But he notes that if Luxembourg were to participate in Eurovision, they could rely on sponsorship — a solution that countries such as Bulgaria and Bosnia and Herzegovina used to enter this year.
The big problem
The big problem is the situation they’d face if Luxembourg were to win — and remember, they’ve won five times previously. He claims that Luxembourg could not afford to host Eurovision.
It seems an overreaction. As Sweden has recently shown twice, a good Eurovision has be hosted on a budget. When a country as tiny as Malta has successfully hosted Junior Eurovision, and with the EBU on hand to help with sponsorship deals to cover costs, there’s no reason why Luxembourg wouldn’t be able to afford to host Eurovision if they won.
But it’s worth remembering that in 1974, after Anne-Marie David won with “Tu te reconnaîtras”, Luxembourg chose not to host the competition a second year in a row. The hosting honours went to the UK, with ABBA storming to victory at The Dome in Brighton.
Or Luxembourg could always do a “My Lovely Horse” and enter a deliberately bad song so ensure they won’t win. Or just get the German head of delegation to help with song selection…
Schmit also notes that things have changed since Luxembourg last participated in 1993, when the winner was decided with 100% jury vote. He explained, “With the new voting system, it is very unlikely that Luxembourg shines much. Small countries are somewhat more troubled now.”
Schmit also acknowledged the potential of the song contest for showcasing Luxembourg’s young music talent, but admits he is not sure if Luxembourg’s music scene could field an ideal candidate for Eurovision.
What do you think? Is RTL just making excuses? Or do they have legitimate concerns? Share your thoughts below!