Junior Eurovision is on the move in Australia. The 2017 grand final will no longer be screened on long-term Australian Eurovision broadcaster SBS — instead it will shift to children’s channel ABC ME.

Both broadcasters confirmed the move today in an announcement. SBS and ABC are Australia’s two public broadcasting television networks, and both are associate members of the EBU. SBS has been screening the Eurovision Song Contest since 1983 and has broadcast the Junior Eurovision Song Contest since it began in 2003. However, SBS does not have a dedicated children’s channel.

Junior Eurovision previously screened on SBS 2 also known as SBS Viceland. The channel was known for its adult-focused programming, which many felt was an unusual home for the family-friendly Junior Eurovision.

ABC ME is a digital channel with programming aimed at school-age children, which the broadcasters say will be a better match for Junior Eurovision.

Marshall Heald of SBS was full of the spirit of JESC when he said, “This is now a great opportunity to reach a youth and children’s audience not available on SBS, to encourage more young Australians to get behind our performer, embrace the fun of the contest, and the spirit of unity and learning about different cultures which Junior Eurovision inspires.”

ABC ME presenter Grace Koh will make the trip to Georgia and will report from the scene. She’ll later be joined by commentators Pip Rasmussen and Tim Mathews for the grand final in November.

The grand final will be broadcast on a delay, screening at 7:30pm (AEDT) on the day of the show. Now that Junior Eurovision no longer uses a public televote, Australian fans will not have to wake up early in order to support their favourite show.

Australia will also compete in Junior Eurovision 2017. Today’s announcement doesn’t give any clues as to who will be making the journey to Georgia, however the ABC has ensured fans the announcement will be made “at a later date”.

Australia’s entry will still be organised by Blink TV with Head of Delegation Paul Clark — the team behind Australia’s previous entries in both Eurovision and Junior Eurovision.

The Eurovision Song Contest will remain broadcast on SBS.

Australia at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest

Australia made its debut at Junior Eurovision in 2015, where The Voice Kids Australia runner-up Bella Paige performed. She placed eighth with her song “My Girls”, co-written with Delta Goodrem.

Last year Australia was represented by The Voice Kids Australia winner Alexa Curtis. Her song “We Are” placed fifth.

While The Voice Kids Australia supplied Australia’s previous two acts, there was only one series made, which screened in 2014.

Due to the national language requirement, Australia is one of only three countries currently competing in Junior Eurovision who are able to perform in English. However, unlike the Eurovision Song Contest, performing in English does not hold a strong advantage at Junior Eurovision.

READ MORE JUNIOR EUROVISION NEWS

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192.168.1.1
Guest

This is really good information I have visited this blog to read something fresh and I really admire you efforts in doing so.

Kris
Guest
Kris

Hey Robyn!! Would you know why my question regarding a poll for Belarus’s JESC NF has fallen on deaf ears?

beccaboo1212
Guest

I don’t necessarily know how I feel about Australia continuing to compete at the Eurovision franchise nowadays. However, it was a smart for the country to start broadcasting Junior Eurovision on a kid-friendly channel! 😉

beccaboo1212
Guest

I meant “smart move”.

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

Great news, I hope more countries confirm soon. Poland is 99% in, and I think Cyprus and Bulgaria will still confirm. I think Israel will withdraw and I hope Germany, France and Hungary will confirm.

beccaboo1212
Guest

* Bulgaria – Tomorrow’s August, so Bulgaria should be able to participate once they have a new leader for BNT. * Cyprus – If it turns out Cyprus withdraws this year, they’ll be in HUGE trouble. 🙁 * France – That would be great if France finally returns to the Junior contest! * Germany – It appears that NDR was about to say “Nein, danke!” (That’s German for “No, thank you!”) So the only other option would be ZDF. * Hungary – Bad news: Hungary isn’t debuting this year!!! 🙁 * Israel – If we figure that Israel is about… Read more »

beccaboo1212
Guest

OFF TOPIC: Let’s just hope Junior Eurovision brings back televoting! 😉

beccaboo1212
Guest

And if ANYONE wishes Junior Eurovision to be dead, I’m gonna be so angry!! Furthermore, those who wish Australia never confirmed participation will just have to deal with it!!!

Roo
Guest
Roo

SBS2 has become very adult focused. They have recently renamed themselves SBS Viceland.

Being on ABC Me is a much better fit.

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

I kind of don’t want Australia to participate in ESC and JESC, I just think they don’t fit the contest, and they kind of steal better placements for other countries. But I hope Kazahkstan will participate in Eurovision.

azaad
Guest
azaad

Not this again. If countries with grosser human rights violations can participate, why not Australia. Not saying we’re perfect but this attitude is so annoying.

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

At Eurovision human rights don’t matter, cause it’s not a competition of quality of life index, it’s a song contest where EUROPEAN countries participate. I have nothing about Australia as a country- I love it, but they just don’t fit in it, a lot of the normal people (who don’t like follow Eurovision every day) don’t have idea, why they participate, you get me. it’s the same as UK would participate in Asiavision- it doesn’t make sense

beccaboo1212
Guest

Well Erasmus, you just need to deal with it! For the record, I’m not saying that I hate Australia at the Eurovision franchise, but I understand why some people do.

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

Well Im dealing with it, but I would just rather see other countries in final than Australia… I don’t think it’s fair that’s all, but Im not gonna stop watching it just because of it. They have great songs as well, I loved Don’t come easy, but again I would rather see Tamara in the final. Dami was overrated for me so I would rather see Kaliopi in the final, see F.Y.R Macedonia would be soo happy..:(

Darren
Guest
Darren

I get you Erasmus! I get you 🙂 I’m not happy about Australia’s participation in JESC or ESC. I’ve nothing against them as a country, I love Australia it’s beautiful, but they are out of place in Eurovision. I think there are countries that should be brought back like Slovakia, Turkey etc especially in JESC, it would be nice to have actual European countries take part like Spain, Belgium, Sweden, United Kingdom. It also doesn’t help that they are overrated constantly and are in the Top 10 all of the time. Australia are part of ESC and JESC and we… Read more »

goprake
Guest
goprake

Good, if I remember correctly ABC has actually more audience and is a more known channel than SBS, this might impulse Junior Eurovision even more in Australia.

Robyn Gallagher
Guest
Robyn Gallagher

ABC has much larger audiences than SBS (it’s like the equivalent of the BBC). However, ABC ME is a smaller digital channel with fewer viewers. But as dedicated children’s channel, it can deliver a more targeted audience than the adult-focused SBS 2.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Like CBBC?

Mark
Guest
Mark

SBS is great for Eurovision because it is a multi-language. ABC is English language only which is where the problem comes into play. I don’t know if Aussie kids will tolerate the differences in languages.

azaad
Guest
azaad

There is certainly a lot of xenophobia and racism in Australia, but those who watch ABC and SBS are more left leaning and accepting of other languages certainly. Conservatives watch 7.

Stu
Guest
Stu

Considering the amount of children’s shows that are in made up languages, I think they’ll be alright.

azaad
Guest
azaad

Given that ABC is definitely the more prestigious public network in Australia, this isn’t necessarily a demotion (and it’s nice for both public broadcasters to have one Eurovision event each- I can’t see SBS losing the adult show because as a network they specialise in multiculturalism).