Last year Croatia returned to Eurovision with a bang. By sending “The Voice” winner Nina Kraljic, the Balkan nation emerged as an early fan favourite and ultimately qualified for the final for the first time since 2009 and placed 23rd in the grand final.
With this rather positive result, we were feeling confidant that Croatia’s state broadcaster HRT would stick around the contest for years to come. But a recent report suggests the contrary, and is dimming the light in our “Lighthouse”.
Earlier today Croatian daily newspaper 24Sata published a damning report on HRT’s financial situation
The report reveals the broadcaster’s intention to cancel two of its most popular TV shows — “Dancing with the Stars” and “The Voice“, which rumours suggested would once again serve as Croatia’s national selection for Eurovision.
The paper writes that the broadcaster is running out of money after buying the rights to broadcast UEFA Euro 2016 and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
The auditions for “The Voice” were set to begin imminently, but were canceled over the broadcaster’s dwindling budget. Last year’s show reportedly cost a total of 35 million Kuna (4.6 million euros), making it the network’s most expensive entertainment program.
The report claims that HRT will instead focus on producing two game shows that work within its financial restraints.
Naturally the report leads us to wonder about Croatia’s future at Eurovision.
The country’s broadcaster is known for its constant struggles with money and in the past — that’s 2014 and 2015 — financial crises forced it to withdraw from the contest.
While the report doesn’t mention whether Croatia will participate at Eurovision 2017 in Ukraine, we can only speculate that the situation doesn’t look as good today as it did a few weeks ago.
Thankfully HRT hasn’t made any official announcement regarding their Eurovision participation, so our fingers remain well and truly crossed.
Do you think Croatia might be out of the contest? If you’re in Croatia, would you rather see ESC or a series of low-budget game shows? Let us know in the comments section below!