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.

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.

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Fabian
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Fabian

I miss last years edition…everything was so well organized and planned without any difficulties. Congrats to RTP and Portugal for this.

Valentino
Guest
Valentino

Pfff…And we thought that Ukraine 2017 was the drama!

Tylos
Guest
Tylos

KAN will cave and take the loan.
A desperate move to increase their funding.

Lola
Guest
Lola

Just get few led screens (they are cheap) and the ESC fanbase will eat it up and say is the most modern ESC ever…

GGG
Guest
GGG

Something not right here. KAN have been offered a loan to meet the security deposit but have refused those terms, instead they want an increase in budget. Seems like KAN are trying to throw their toys out of the pram and are using the competition as leverage to get a better budget for the broadcaster.

RICK
Guest

ugh last thing we need is another esc 17 in terms of production, songs were great that year tho.

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

At the end of the day, we have seen this before with Ukraine in 2017.
Everyone was up in a heap thinking it would not come together but it did.
At the end of the day the EBU will protect the brand of the contest.
The best thing to do for now is wait and watch to see what happens.
This kind of dramatics happen with all major events.
It its still happening around September/October then yes we can start to panic

Ana
Guest
Ana

The thing is, Israel is a much richer country than Ukraine, and supposed to be a “western type democracy”. Instead there is always a chaos and lack of normal organisation. As an Israeli (that was born in Ukraine), that’s frustrating and embarrassing that we are compared with Ukraine.

Ana
Guest
Ana

I’m wondering if any broadcaster in the past 15 years managed to produce ESC without additional funding from the government, using just their budget. Any info about that? Is it possible at all?

perrs
Guest
perrs

Only NRK 2010. Government did t want to gave money , and NRK to collect money for Eurovisio , sold their brodcasting for World cup 2010 in RSA to private television in Norway.

Ana
Guest
Ana

Oh, so it’s too late for KAN to sell their world cup rights.. Thanks for the info.

DaniRey
Guest
DaniRey

It’s all about the budgetary numbers. Unsure why the projected cost is so high. The amount they’re saying they need for 2019 is over double this year and the year before that too. Maybe if they weren’t asking for such drastically high numbers for putting on the show the budget increase for the deposit would go through. It’s all probably a negotiation tactic.

Ana
Guest
Ana

Israel has way more security costs and it’s not physically in Europe, so all the equipment should be flown and brought by sea instead of trucks which are cheaper.

allexo
Guest
allexo

Israel declined in 1980 because it concided with Holocaust Memorial Day, well I think that was the reason anyway

Zohar
Guest
Zohar

No. Israel declined in 1980 because of budget problems
Only after NOS took it, was the date se for National Memorial Day.

Boycott Jerusalem 2019
Guest
Boycott Jerusalem 2019

This kinda reminds me… Did Ukraine get their deposit back after hosting Eurovision 2017?

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Is this a bit similar to what happened in the lead up to the 1980 contest? Perhaps someone who remembers that far back can fill us in, if it is.

EuroFan
Guest
EuroFan

The reason Israel didn’t host was a combination of the expense of hosting it two years in a row and the fact that the contest was scheduled on the same day as their Holocaust Memorial Day. That’s why they didn’t even participate in 1980

Ana
Guest
Ana

You don’t really think Israel’s economy is the same as in 1980.. The reason back then was economical, this time is just political fight between Netanyahu and his nemesis KAN.

XOverdose
Guest
XOverdose

I heard lots of people say that these stories are fake but in my opinion, this could actually be real. They need to put down a €12M security deposit for the world’s biggest event, which in my opinion they can just about afford. However, in my opinion, the EBU should only really be looking €4-5M in a security deposit as the left-over of the €12M is put other things like infrastructure, better technology and I wouldn’t be surprised at least 2%-6% of the money left goes into Ola Sand’s bank account. If Israel does lose the hosting rights for next… Read more »

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

Honestly, the government of Israel wins more by hosting the competition. I don’t think they will just let it go so easily. Plus, as some people suggested, Israeli media apparently loves to create massive hype.

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

I mean, that’s usual for Israel, we always find a way to mess things up or nearly mess them up but we can fix them :3
I believe it will all turn out fine in the end.
Even if not, I’m sure Cyprus is a beautiful place 😛 But ESC 2019 will be held in Israel.

EscVegi
Guest
EscVegi

When they dont wanna pay Eurovision will held in Germany.

sevzch
Guest
sevzch

Aaaaaaand romurs again…… ahhhh you never learn….

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

99% of all of those articles are rumors and hallway-talks.

The government of Israel will do anything to host this event. Everything you hear is just inner fights between Kan and the government. what will happen eventually is that both sides will sit in a room and shout until some decision is made. this is how things work in the Jewish state.

Calm the f*ck down.

Let Me Show You Tel Aviv
Guest
Let Me Show You Tel Aviv

Typical Israeli bureaucratic BS, but it’ll work out in the end.
To quote Natalie Portman “The first Hebrew word most people learn when coming to Israel is typically ‘Balagan’ which means ‘a mess.'” Patience is required when it comes to anything that the Israeli government touches since it is one big balagan.
This does show, however, how hands-off Netanyahu truly is in regards to Eurovision, so it’s looking more like Tel Aviv 2019.

Nancy G
Guest
Nancy G

I didn’t know any of this about bureaucracy in Israel. Do you think it will impact the actual running of the show? Or is it mostly that there will be behind-the-scenes drama but we won’t notice if we are just attending the show or watching on TV? Anyway good luck Israel.

sevzch
Guest
sevzch

We all know they will solve it last minute so please rumors about Nicosia or Viena plz stop

Ronaldo Fan
Guest
Ronaldo Fan

Maybe you should tell that to Israeli media, including the Times of Israel, Haaretz, etc. The Israeli media is the one sourcing this information, and given that they are on-the-ground and in-the-know, we should respect them. And by the way who is talking about Nicosia or Vienna?!

sevzch
Guest
sevzch

A lot of people as an Israeli you can be sure no need to worry about this #drama as KAN maybe wants to create a buzz for more intrest in the show…. Very old Israeli trick…

Maya G
Guest
Maya G

I’m Israeli and almost every item about the upcoming ESC is 90% BS. Reporters need to make headlines, and since Eurovision is a hot topic in Israel nowadays journalist will hang to every piece of information and every detail they can blow up into an exclusive news report. As always, there some grain of truth from which the item started, but they embellish it with so much drama and urgency to generate more buzz, usually something like “Is Israel’s hosting the Eurovision in danger?” (usually when a news report has a question for a headline, the answer is no). It’s… Read more »

Ronaldo Fan
Guest
Ronaldo Fan

That’s interesting. In a weird way it’s a sign that Israel has a healthy and productive media industry and good freedom of the press.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

??? Why do you people think they would give the host rights to the runner-up or third placed country?? If Israel does not host it (which I doubt it), the host country will probably be Germany, Sweden, or even Portugal.