Nicky Byrne Ireland first rehearsal 2016

Eyebrows are being raised in Ireland after national broadcaster RTÉ revealed it spent €337,000 on the Irish participation in Eurovision 2016. That is substantially more than what Ireland has spent in recent years — but RTÉ has a good excuse.

Details of the Irish spend for Eurovision 2016 were published following a Freedom of Information request made by the Irish Sun.

The amount of €337,000 is significantly more than the €254,000 RTÉ spent for Jedward’s participation in 2012. Back then, the spending was criticised. But it was also noted that costs were higher than average for 2012, due to the longer flights needed to travel to Baku and the limited choices in hotels.

RTÉ explained that their higher budget for 2016 was due to Nicky Byrne having been internally selected. The budget that would have normally gone to hosting the (already low-budget) national final Eurosong was instead allocated to the staging of the Irish entry, “Sunlight”.

The broadcaster also explained that “Nicky Byrne waived his performance fee in order to channel all available budgets into the stage production.”

But fans were left struggling to see where the budget went. When Nicky performed the song in Stockholm, his staging consisted of band members on raised platforms, and the same quality of LED graphics and lighting that all other acts had access to.

The staging of “Sunlight” compares poorly to the success of Jedward’s similarly low-budget staging for “Lipstick” in 2011. That managed to create one of the most iconic performances in Düsseldorf and earned Jedward the Marcel Benzençon Artist Award.

“Sunlight” placed only 15th in its semi-final, making it the third year in a row that Ireland missed out on the Eurovision final.

Part of Ireland’s 2016 expenses was the €88,472 Eurovision participation fee, which helps cover the expense of producing the show and gives RTÉ the exclusive rights to broadcast the popular television programme in Ireland.

Malta’s request denied

Irish journalists had better luck than their colleagues in Malta. A similar request made for details of PBS’s Eurovision 2016 spending was turned down last year by Malta’s Data Commissioner.

However, leaked documents suggested that the Malta delegation spent €108,264 on flights and accomodation, with expenses over €200,000. And this did not include any costs incurred for promotional activities prior to Stockholm, nor Ira Losco’s designer hologram coat, estimated at €60,000. One source estimated that the Maltese broadcaster spent well over  €1 million on Ira Losco’s bid for victory.

Meanwhile, Ireland’s RTÉ has again internally selected their act for Eurovision 2017. Under the guidance of X Factor UK judge Louis Walsh, former boy band singer Brendan Murray will sing “Dying to Try” for Ireland.

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Matthew
Guest

Are you kidding me? Such a waste !

manvi
Guest

Seriously??? Are you kidding me??? Isn’t it a waste of money???

Anurag
Guest

Out of a million ways to spend money this is possibly the last way how one would want to spend it.

Mameo
Guest
Mameo

This year’s entry is quite good-sounding. Can some go towards revamping the song a little bit like Australia did last year? The songwriter could raise the song’s difficulty a bit, challenging but within the singer’s boundary. If possible, push it up till max limit.

Mark Beckenbreur
Guest
Mark Beckenbreur

Unbelievable.

mocosuburbian
Guest
mocosuburbian

omg $300,000 spent on what????
how wasteful

Sven
Guest
Sven

AVROTROS (The broadcaster of the Netherlands) spent even more money on Eurovision 2016: 500.000 euros, with also having an internal selection.
But oh well, Douwe Bob’s result (11th :)) was worth the money I guess, instead of the Irish result.

cupcakKeismyidol
Guest
cupcakKeismyidol

bitch on what? ON WHAT?

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest
(J)ESC Fanatic

Wasted money…

MTD
Guest
MTD

Did his jacket cost 100 000 euros? 😀

Leaf
Guest
Leaf

Come on people.
Maybe he had to buy paint to color the stage in SUNSHINY RED.
Money well spent lol

Darren
Guest
Darren

Ireland will have the same staging this year too! Calling it now.
RTE seems to think you need to fill the stage with 6 people.
Maybe instead of paying 5 other people to stand there and pretend to play instruments, they could organise a really cool visual for Brendan’s song, but I’ve a feeling it will just be 6 people and a lot of dry ice ????

Diva
Guest
Diva

They rather spend good money for a damn good song if they want to pass the semifinal… In the past 4 years Ireland sent decent entries, I must admit….but nothing now, nothing spectacular. Just random songs… It’s a contest, only the best ones succeed… If a country wants to achieve a good result (at least qualifying for the grand final) then…they must send the best song they’ve got… In any competition you send the best competitor if you want to achieve a good rank. Sadly, I’ve noticed in the past years that some countries only want to participate, not necessarily… Read more »

informacje
Guest
informacje

He paid a lot a nothing happen on stage haha
and his voice was bad.
I think if song is good it doesn’t need show.

Justin K.
Guest
Justin K.

Granted if you add in the flights and accommodations, maybe about half of those fees were allotted to participation and transportation. That leaves roughly €150K, which puzzles me if it goes to staging. I’m sure the Wiwibloggs staff know or can guesstimate better than I: what would the price range be for pyrotechnics or LED stage design? (I assume the stage graphics are centralised by the host broadcaster.) I estimated that if broadcasters paid designers €1,000 an hour, I would think an average staging would end up costing €20K or so with good direction; maybe €75K at the highest for… Read more »

what
Guest
what

@HBau no one here in Ireland says that

HBau
Guest
HBau

As my Irish housemate used to say, “You can’t polish a third”

Betty
Guest
Betty

Agree with @PP nordic countries are expensive. Ukraine can be better from this perspective.

James
Guest
James

Staging? What staging? lelz

PP
Guest
PP

Nordic countries are very expensive for many people from Europe. Because that, many countries withdraw, when that countries host Eurovision. See Eurovison 2010 only 39 participated ,2013 39, 2014 37 countries, in 2016 is record with number of countries when nordic country host Eurovision from 2010 to 2016 42 41 without Australia. I read many comments from eurovison fans when Norway host Eurovision, and they are shocked when they saw price in fast food…in other countries they can spent all day with food in some not expensive hotel, how they paid one meal in restoran in Oslo.

Hi
Guest

This Song was best last year.

fikri
Guest
fikri

go big or go home– i totally encourage broadcasters to waste their money to send quality acts as long as it doesn’t end up in anyone’s pockets.

Betty
Guest
Betty

1 million euros for Ira Losco? They were there for the win.
Malta thought that after second place in 2002, now, the swedish song will bring them first place for sure.

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

I get that this is trying to fill the blogging gaps, but to try and “expose” Ira Losco, arguably one of the most iconic Eurovision entries of all time!

Nickc
Guest
Nickc

Is it a bit too much for that low key staging?