On August 18 the organisers behind Eurovision Asia launched their official web site, announcing that “the Asia-Pacific region will be able to compete in their own version of the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time.”

And ever since then Eurovision fans have been wondering aloud which members of the Asian-Pacific Broadcasting Union — the region’s counterpart to the European Broadcasting Union — will be invited to compete. The Philippines, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Samoa — the potential names just roll off the tongue.

Well it’s time to expand your guesses and widen your dreams.

On Monday Blink TV — the esteemed production company that’s making Eurovision Asia a reality — confirmed to wiwibloggs that it wants to involve countries from across the Asia-Pacific region regardless of whether they have a state-run channel that has full membership in the ABU.

“We are keen to engage and involve countries from across the Asian region, and their content platforms, be they commercial or government organisations,” a spokesperson told wiwibloggs. “All are welcome.”

You’ll note that full members of the ABU “are national free-to-air broadcasters in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Eurovision Asia’s willingness to involve commercial organisations shows a spirit of inclusivity that could well encourage countries from outside the ABU, or with only associate membership, to participate.

While the ABU’s full members will no doubt be important — they include some of the biggest and most-watched broadcasters in the world — there’s leeway for others. #CelebrateDiversity, right?

Potential Eurovision Asia participants

Given that criteria, what other countries might participate?

The United Arab Emirates, which is home to pan-Arab broadcasters like the Orbit Showtime Network and the Middle East Broadcasting Centre, springs to mind. Orbit is the home of X Factor Middle East, which produced the region’s most popular boy band The5.

The UAE — whose most populous city is Dubai — does not currently have ABU membership.

Another region that springs to mind is Hong Kong. According to ABU jargon, Hong Kong has four members that enjoy “Additional Full Member” status, which covers areas “where there are already two full members and members in non-independent areas.”

These four broadcasters in Hong Kong are: Digital Broadcasting Corporation Hong Kong Limited (DBC); Metro Broadcast Corporation Limited (METRO); Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK); and Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB).

Hong Kong — officially “a special administration region of the People’s Republic of China” — competes in a number of international events in its own name. Among these are the Olympic Games, the international Athletics circuit and Miss International. Given the depth and talent in Cantopop, including artists like Paula Tsui, pictured at top, their independent participation here would make sense.

The topic of autonomous or semi-autonomous overseas territories leads us to Tahiti, the largest and most populous island in French Polynesia, which is itself an “overseas collectivity” of France. It does not have a member network in the ABU.

French Polynesians, who are spread out over Tahiti, the Society Islands, the Tuamotu Archipelago, the Gambier Islands, the Marquesas Islands and the Austral Islands, frequently compete in international competition under the name of Tahiti. Examples include basketball and, at various points in their history, Miss World, Miss Earth and Miss International.

Another country that springs to mind is Taiwan, whose hostile relations with the People’s Republic of China may make its participation a thorny issue. But Eurovision — and indeed Eurovision Asia — is about bringing people together, so perhaps they too will receive an invitation and accept. Taiwan currently competes as “Chinese Tapei” at the Olympic Games.

In any case, are you excited that Eurovision Asia could involve broadcasters outside of those with full ABU membership? Let us know in the comments box below.

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Italy - Greece
Guest

wonderful issues altogether, you just won a new reader. What
could you suggest in regards to your submit that you just made somne
days ago? Any positive?

dino
Guest
dino

Don’t know if I’m right, but without Australia, Eurovision Asia would have not existed. Australia was the LINK, and this is why it was EBU’s baby. It seems fair to participate in both ESC and EASC in the same year, and afterwards will choose just one. It is what it is, and if EASC will be a succes, everybody will be happy.

Magpie
Guest
Magpie

Hong Kong already expressed interest

Jerz
Guest
Jerz

Taiwan, North Korea, Australia, UAE and Hong Kong should not considered.

SebastienXavier
Guest
SebastienXavier

TAIWAN IS NOT A COUNTRY YO.

David
Guest
David

Taiwan is a country. No matter what deluded Chinese people thinks.

hh
Guest
hh

Not a country my ass! The only country that should just leave is China!

Edward
Guest
Edward

Taiwan Is a Country , I’m proud that I coming from Taiwan!!

Proud to be Oceanian
Guest
Proud to be Oceanian

I’m from New Caledonia and many of my friends are from French Polynesia. And our broadcasters, NC1ère or Polynésie 1ère, aren’t even members of ABU (full or additional or associate or institutional or affiliate). Don’t be so optimistic about our likely participations. Currently, we can’t participate. Even if I really would like 😉

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

I love New Caledonia (seriously, I am literally in Noumea right now on a holiday!) and I would love to see some French Pacific realness at EASC. The point is that the organisers of EASC aren’t tied to membership of a broadcasting union, so it seems that non-member countries (and possibly not even actual countries) could enter.

Tbh, I could do with hearing some New Caledonian music. All I seem to be hearing around Noumea is “Despacito”…

Proud to be Oceanian
Guest
Proud to be Oceanian

Oooooh really ?? 😀 It would be nice to meet you ! ^^ But I have to tell you that my english is very basic, if we have to tchat together I won’t be so talkative, my vocabulary is so poor 😛 I’m really fond of New Zealand ! Of its unique welcome, the awesome state of mind of its inhabitants, the maori culture and the fact that maoris, europeans and other people from other parts of the world are living together in peace. For me, New Zealand is the best country in the world 😀 (does anyone says ”Norway”… Read more »

Proud to be Oceanian
Guest
Proud to be Oceanian

*don’t think it would ”work”

Florian
Guest
Florian

As a French Eurovision fan, I hope Tahiti will participate, haha

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Makes sense – as full membership of the EBU is apparently not required to compete at the Eurovision Song Contest anymore. #Australia

That said, the substantial organization that is the European Broadcasting Union is what made the Eurovision what it is, giving it structure, funds & a large network of support – I’m not sure a private television company has the same gravitas or know-how.

What makes this different from the atrocious World Idol from years back?

James
Guest
James

Australia is an associate member of the EBU so them participating depends when they are invited to take part each year.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

I know. They’re not full members, so unless they want to step up and pay the same as everybody else – why do they get the same privilege?

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Australia can’t be a full member of the EBU because Australia isn’t in the EBU’s membership area (Europe and North Africa). But they are an associate member, which (I assume) don’t come easy and don’t come cheap.

But the rules of Eurovision allow for associate members to compete if they have been especially invited, which is what has happened to Australia.

Australia also pays the regular entry fee to compete at Eurovision. And as the entry fee is adjusted to reflect to financial ability of each participating country, it’s reasonable to expect that SBS pays more than many other broadcasters.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Right, but the rules up to recently that a broadcaster must be a member of the EBU. It seems they were changed purely to facilitate Australia’s “one-off” entry. In my opinion, there are already too many countries in the contest, and full membership of the EBU seems like a logical cut-off point. If the entry fee is adjusted to reflect the financial ability of each country (or broadcaster?), is it not reasonable to assume that SBS actually pay a smaller fee due to their small scale? It is my understanding that Sony Australia in fact actually covers the fee, essentially… Read more »

Josh
Guest
Josh

Australia’s two public broadcasters pay a fee to be Associate Members. Not sure if it is the same amount or a little lower. Essentially the EBU only guarantees Active (Full) Members the right to participate but an Associate Member can participate if an invitation is extended to them (i.e. Australia). I highly doubt the EBU would ever extend an invite to every Associate Member country. Australia is special because the ESC actually has a good following down under. The only countries/territory that I see with a slight possible chance of being invited is Greenland, New Zealand or China. I 100%… Read more »

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Well I doubt Greenland would be allowed enter since they are Danish territory, and not independent. I’m still murky on who actually extends these “invitations” to Australia, and why we were told it was only a one-off occurence only for it now to be an annual thing.

In any case, whatever my doubts about Australia, at least they play fair…so I will still take ten Australias over one Azerbaijan. 🙂

Magpie
Guest
Magpie

Welcome France, Germany, Norway, UK and USA? All of which who have associate membership?

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

Hope not, it should be JUST ASIA.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

It’ll be limited to the Asia-Pacific region, though perhaps France could sneak in via one or two of its Pacific territories.

Josh
Guest
Josh

The United States could take part in Eurovision Asia. The United States has two overseas territories (American Samoa, Guam) and 1 state (Hawaii) in the Asia-Pacific region. Each area has their own local free-to-air stations that they could air the contest on. If one or all of those areas wanted to enter and air the contest locally they have the right. They would just have to set aside arrangements with national networks like NBC to air their primietime shows in a “make-good” timeslot.

Mike Roosevelt
Guest

What’s next… Tibet?

Mike Roosevelt
Guest

NO HONG KONG, MACAU, TAIWAN, NORFOLK ISLAND AND FRENCH POLYNESIA ETC. PLEASE! JUST CHINA AND AUSTRALIA PLEASE!

Mike Roosevelt
Guest

ONLY INDEPENDENT COUNTRIES PLEASE!

Mike Roosevelt
Guest

IN THE END WE ARE GONNA HAVE OUR HANDS ALREADY FULL WITH THE INDEPENDENT COUNTRIES (OF ASIA AND OCEANIA), LET ALONE THE NON-INDEPENDENT AREAS!

Frisian ESC (jr)
Guest
Frisian ESC (jr)

Taiwan is independent, everybody saying otherwise is being plain ignorant/douchebag

Mike Roosevelt
Guest

Taiwan is not independent

hh
Guest
hh

Deluded Chinese spotted!

Jo
Guest
Jo

Bora Bora 2019.

Nancy G
Guest
Nancy G

Would love that to happen. What a name! haha

Jo
Guest
Jo

La Coco Dance!!!!!!

azaad
Guest
azaad

How can Hong Kong compete when it’s not recognised as a country? That’s not going to go down well with China, who wouldn’t compete (think along the lines of Lebanon’s non participation in ESC due to the Israeli presence). However, while Eurovision can go on without Lebanon, Eurovision Asia will need China to survive. The idea of any country from the Gulf, or wider Middle East (save for Jordan and Lebanon) is ludicrous. The political drama that would ensue would make the Russia vs. Ukraine feud in ESC look downright friendly. This contest, like the original ESC, has to start… Read more »

Nancy G
Guest
Nancy G

Owing to its history Hong Kong is afforded special status in a number of areas. And it already competes (against China) in international athletics, at the Olympics, etc. The more difficult issue for China will be Taiwan.

Kris
Guest
Kris

Hey guys can you tell us which countries have shown intent to participate?? You wrote in the article on India that they wish to participate but I couldn’t find an article for that info

Magpie
Guest
Magpie

Just go to the wiki.

Jo
Guest
Jo

And no semi-finals?

Kris
Guest
Kris

That’s the initial plan…. They assumed not more than 20 countries will intend to participate but if more than 30 end up applying we might see Semi-finals too!!

Jo
Guest
Jo

South Pacific is getting very interested in participating.

goprake
Guest
goprake

This means North Korea can participate 😀 They have a quite good music scene actually, including a K-pop band.

One of the most famous North Korean bands: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ODboZQ8qkgg

goprake
Guest
goprake

And before anyone says it, no, North Korea wouldn’t have any problem with competing along South Korea, they actually have some sort of a good relationship, they have played together in sports several times and North Koreans really cheered and supported South Korea, and same goes the other way around. I hope we see someday a reunification <3

Claus Michael
Guest
Claus Michael

To be honest, North Korea will never be seen, because their broadcaster only broadcasts media about their own Supreme Leader, even their news covers anything about their Supreme Leader, nothing else…

Bella
Guest
Bella

I actually think it would be quite cool if by some miracle North Korea did participate! Maybe if they start joining in one some fun they’ll loosen up and be a more friendly country. Then again, I’ve always been ridiculously optimistic! 😀

Loin de La Bas
Guest
Loin de La Bas

I agree about North Korea might not have a problem competing. They have participated in sporting competitions such as the Olympics and Asian Games for years (even when it was hosted by South Korea, its true that the south korean crowd cheered for their northern neighbours which was touching to see). SO, why not participating in music?
If they participate, they might come up with a choir singing about their supreme leader. I won’t hate that! it’s called diversity!

Jesse K.
Guest
Jesse K.

North Koreans don’t have a problem competing in most sports, because rules of sport competitions generally are not in conflict with North Korean law. But if Eurovsion Asia has the same rules as in ESC (that the participating countries must broadcast all entries and the complete voting), it will make it impossible for North Korea to compete because of the heavy censorship.