Alasania

Is Eurovision 2017 in jeopardy? It’s a natural question to ask after NTU’s director Zurab Alasania’s resignation earlier this week.

Speaking to the Ukrainian version of Deutsche Welle, EBU officials claim that the contest’s preparations “will not stop for a single day”. However, the latest media reports suggest that next year’s organisation may not be working as smoothly as we’re used to.

As we explained on Tuesday, Alasania published a letter announcing that he is leaving the broadcaster. In his statement, he suggested that the Ukrainian government wasn’t putting much effort — or financial resource — into the contest, forcing him to oversee regular broadcasting activities and the contest on a shoestring budget. So he decided to leave with only six months to go until the event.

The former official claimed that Ukrainian authorities could “administrate [the country’s budget] with impunity” and sought to put the focus on the relationship between NTU and the government. And he actually succeeded.

International media like Billboard, The Telegraph and Spain’s Agencia EFE reported the news. Many of them suggested that Eurovision 2017 was at risk of not being held at all.

Thankfully, it appears that the contest itself is not at risk. Phew! But questions keep coming about how things are actually working after Alasania explained that preparations are approximately two months behind where they should be.

Nevertheless, he’s confident that NTU can overcome the hurdles if authorities throw their full weight behind the contest. He contends that the problem was simply that authorities were not putting enough interest into the contest. As he explains:

“The state isn’t that interested in Eurovision, officials say ‘Why do we need that?’ Then it seems that it’s only important to me, because NTU has a contract on cooperation with the EBU, which has my signature”.

Despite his strong statements, Alasania will continue working with EBU until the government appoints his successor.

Alasania questions government’s budget decisions

Mr. Alasania’s resignation was not only because of the lack of interest in Eurovision from the authorities. He was also fuming because of the handling of NTU’s budget. The government included the Eurovision budget into the broadcaster’s usual amount. This means that NTU will have to survive the rest of the year with only seven million euros. As he explained:

The government (through the Ministry of Finance) have included the Eurovision into the annual 2017 budget of the National Public Broadcasting Company.

Thus, out of €42.8 million prescribed by the law for the development of the Public Broadcaster in 2017, the government takes away €16 m for the Eurovision costs, €8.9 m as payment for transmission, €5.3 m by taxing and the city takes €1.6 m  through utility bills. Another €4m goes for international activities (Olympic Games, world championships, etc.).

What remains is €7m. Authorities, are you serious?

So what can we deduce from all this? Is Eurovision 2017 in risk? Well, not right now, but without a renewed interest on the government’s behalf, things could get seriously messy.

What do you think of Ukraine’s handling of Eurovision? Do you agree with Alasania’s comments? How should the new director act once they’re named? Share your feelings in the comment section below!

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mocosuburbian
mocosuburbian
3 years ago

i like how we expect that ukraine devote all of its time to something as shallow as eurovision when they’re fighting the bloodiest war in Europe and their economy is declining

Riva
Riva
3 years ago

Oh, you see preparation news – you expect another revealed crysis. And those exposures are just irritating and unwise, yet the best way to turn more scepticism from ruling medias and mere us. Expand scale and you’ll get why the country has got even territorial crysis. Corrupt state with bad relationships within so unfriendly forces have broke it easily, backed by powerful countr(y)ies. Why expect good fate presence?

Leo Valdez
Leo Valdez
3 years ago

Mark my words
This is going to be the worst Eurovision ever
I have nothing against Ukraine but seriously look how things are disorganized
I think EBU should change the hosting rule
Something like FIFA champions hosting

Skimur
Skimur
3 years ago

@ bro – government of 2005 was almost the same as now, they are mostly businessmen who earned capital before coming to power, in contrast to the truly criminal “Professor`s family”. Yes, they will not miss their chance to make money on the Eurovision Song Contest, but they definitely will make a great show.

James
James
3 years ago

@yole: The broadcaster has first right of refusal. Hosting JESC in 2013 was not that long ago.

bro
bro
3 years ago

@Robyn Gallagher That was before 2014. Ukraine in 2005 and in 2016 are different planets. Now people in our government are criminals. No one will benefit except for them.

Robyn Gallagher
Admin
3 years ago

Just remember, things did not go smoothly when Ukraine hosted in 2005. At one stage they were behind on major deadlines, so the EBU stepped in and demanded they get everything organised or the hosting would be taken off them. And they did it.

It sounds like the EBU are keeping a very close eye on things.

fikri
fikri
3 years ago

where was the sense of pride and joy when they first hosted the contest? they acted like they never done this before.

Oleh
Oleh
3 years ago

I hate my contry. Hate Ukraine.

blue
blue
3 years ago

Let’s wait till February/March, instead of unnecessarily panicking and attacking ‘East European’ countries. After all, some of the best hosted recent competitions were Azerbaijan 2012 and Russia 2009. Regardless, I’m confident Ukraine will stage an amazing show, just as they did in Kiev 2005.

yole
yole
3 years ago

New rules, the winner eurovision song contest is not automatically assignee organization of the ESC. in the future we could have worse problems. maybe they should drawing lots from the most prepared countries. (This is counterproductive for my country. Italy) but we must see things with new perspective

UmerKim
UmerKim
3 years ago

completely agree with what @johanleekens is saying

johanleekens
johanleekens
3 years ago

We shouldn’t all be like “Eastern European countries shouldn’t host”, “No Eastern countries in Eurovision” and “Ukraine should never win anymore”.
I think we shouldn’t be mad at Ukraine right now.
Last time they hosted it was a pretty good contest (apart from the female host, who was bloody annoying). Let’s just see where things are going and if we still get those reports in February / March we should start worrying.