It won this year’s Eurovision Song Contest and as a prize has first right to host next year’s contest. But Israel‘s hosting of Eurovision 2019 is in fresh jeopardy today.
That’s because Israeli public broadcaster KAN has today revealed it doesn’t have the €12 million security deposit it needs to host the contest.
The heads of Kan have reportedly written to government officials – including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – to warn of the threat. The warning comes after the Israeli government declined to increase Kan’s budget for 2019.
Kan says that if they don’t receive the money in five days it risks the contest being hosted outside of Israel.
The letter says:
“Such a move [No increase to Kan’s budget] would leave the corporation with a budgetary deficit which contravenes the law and risks its extensive activities.”
The letter continues, “Therefore the board of the broadcaster addresses the relevant parties in order to quickly find a source to cover the required security deposit, as well as an undertaking to provide the appropriate budget to produce the competition.”
Despite the threat, Netanyahu has said Kan will have to make do with the already allocated annual budget of NIS 700 million ($190m). Israeli media suggests the 2019 contest will cost around $41m, which at present will need to come from the current budget.
Although Netanyahu has said the state won’t pay, it is reported that the Communications Minister has offered Kan a loan to cover the deposit. Kan has however rejected those terms and instead asked for the increase in budget.
According to Walla!, the northern city of Haifa, which had previously expressed an interest in hosting the event, did not submit its application by the July 18 deadline. Walla! claims that KAN subsequently sent officials in Haifa a letter essentially saying, “we’ll assume you are no longer interested.” #eurovisionsongcontest #eurovision #eurovision2019
Israel has already faced a rocky road to hosting Eurovision 2019. There have been threats of an international boycott and Universal Music has threatened a lawsuit against the songwriters of “Toy” for plagiarism.
If Kan success in finding €12m, the competition to host the contest looks set to be split between Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Eilat.