Last year Liechtenstein broadcaster 1FLTV revealed their new plans to participate at Eurovision 2019, as part of the principality’s 300th-anniversary celebrations. However, the European Broadcasting Union has now confirmed that they have not received a membership application from the broadcaster.

While 1FLTV has long had plans to participate in Eurovision, the broadcaster is not currently eligible as they are not members of the EBU.

And it doesn’t appear that they will be joining any time soon. A spokesperson for the EBU confirmed the news to fan site ESCXTRA, saying, “The EBU has not received an application for Membership from 1FLTV, Liechtenstein.”

But things were different in November last year. The 1FLTV had issued a statement saying that they intended to participate at Eurovision 2019. The broadcaster said it would be the “absolute highlight” of their programme of celebrations for the 300th anniversary of Liechtenstein’s founding.

1FLTV’s then editor-in-chief Peter Kölbel was optimistic that the broadcaster would join the EBU. He told local press, “We are in the negotiation stage and [the EBU] are in a very friendly atmosphere.”

He also said that while the estimated 350,000 Swiss francs (301,000 euro) membership fee might seem high, it was nothing in comparison to the other projects the government has supported for the 300th-anniversary celebrations.

While 1FLTV is a commercial station, its annual turnover is just 10,000 Swiss francs and it would require substantial subsidies in order to join the EBU and participate at Eurovision.

Tragically, Peter Kölbel passed away suddenly in February, after previously being treated for colon cancer. A 1FLTV spokesperson said that Kölbel’s death was a loss to the station and that “nobody will do it as well as he does.”

While the station said that plans were underway for finding a new programme director, no mention was made of continuing the EBU membership bid. As Kölbel was the main driver behind the Eurovision plan, there may no longer be anyone at the small broadcaster with the passion to take over the project.

Liechtenstein and Eurovision

Liechtenstein made their first attempt to participate at Eurovision in 1976. An entry was selected, Biggi Bachmann with her song “My Little Cowboy”. However, as Liechtenstein did not have a national broadcaster, they were unable to enter.

While most television in Liechtenstein is supplied from neighbouring Switzerland, in 2008, commercial broadcaster 1 Fürstentum Liechtenstein Television (1FLTV) was established. Since 2009, key station executive Peter Kölbel regularly expressed a desire for Liechtenstein to debut at Eurovision. The biggest hurdle has always been getting funding to pay the EBU membership fees.

With a population of around 37,000, Liechtenstein is one of the smallest countries in Europe. In the current lineup of countries competing at Eurovision, only San Marino has a smaller population.

What do you think? Should 1FLTV still apply for EBU membership? Should the Liechtenstein government subsidise their Eurovision fees? Share your thoughts below!

Read more Liechtenstein Eurovision news

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Purple Mask
Purple Mask
2 years ago

The person who wanted to make it happen is gone. So far no-one else can be bothered to take up the challenge, so it’s not happening.
In related news, does anyone know who is taking on the UK’s HoD role yet? (Just thought I’d ask.) Does anyone at the BBC know? Thanks.

Eurovisionary
Eurovisionary
2 years ago

It would be nice for them to continue his efforts in his memory and also for us as fans to see what they got musically! 🙂

Azuro
Azuro
2 years ago

@kirby omg I had the same idea a while ago.
Gibraltar, Monaco, Liechtenstein, San Marino and Andorra compete as the Mini 5.
Winner of the Mini final, gets to compete in the grand final as a 27th country.

Also it matches the Big 5 perfectly each Micro state has a big brother in the big 5 Gibraltar (United Kingdom) Monaco (France) Liechtenstein (Germany) Andorra (Spain) San Marino (Italy)

They could possibly be involved somehow. Maybe like provide coaching, or some kind of support!

Kirby
Kirby
2 years ago

What would I do if I were the EBU authorities? I’d gather all microstates and host a sort of “micro-Eurovision” (this time it’d all about the “Small-5”). The winner would get a direct slot in the Grand Final. Besides, each microstate would have to pay just one share of a membership fee, which would be divided into 5 parts. As the EBU, I’d encourage legends like Luxembourg to have a more than welcome comeback.

Eastman
Eastman
2 years ago
Reply to  Kirby

Riddle me this. Lack of EBU membership is only an issue for Liechtenstein. The absentee broadcasters of Andorra, Monaco, Luxembourg all have current EBU memberships. They just don’t want to do Eurovision.

Additionally, the Eurovision participation fee already varies from country to country. The biggest, richest countries pay the most; the countries with smaller economies and populations pay the least.

Davve
Davve
2 years ago

Liechtenstein is a lost cause. They talk a lot. But when it is time to pay then they dont have the cash

James
James
2 years ago

Don’t dream it’s over…

Jo.
Jo.
2 years ago

A microstates “supergroup” could be the best option for them, with Andorra, San Marino, Lienchtenstein and Monaco as its members.

EscAU
EscAU
2 years ago

noo dont give upppp there’s gotta be a liechtensteinian valentina monetta just waiting to show the world what they got 😉

DenizNL
DenizNL
2 years ago
Reply to  EscAU

xD xD
That would be really funny

DenizNL
DenizNL
2 years ago

That is sad. I would love for them to be able to participate.

Eastman
Eastman
2 years ago

Can’t we get Ralph Siegel and Serhat to pick up the tab?

Alex
Alex
2 years ago

I’m sad