A day before the deadline to submit the €12 million ($14m) security deposit to host Eurovision 2019, the EBU has given KAN an extension. As Israel’s Maariv newspaper reports, the Geneva-based body is now giving KAN until August 14 to pay the funds — and to negotiate the guarantee that was offered by the state in lieu of security funds.
In their response to KAN’s request for an extension, the EBU has indicated that the “process is critical” — implying perhaps that no more extensions will be given.
In an urgent letter dated July 30, and that was addressed to Minister of Communication Ayoob Kara, KAN’s CEO Gil Omer stated that KAN will not be able to produce Eurovision without the guarantee.
Omer also indicated that the guarantee is only a fraction of what is required to produce the show and that unless the state provides adequate funding, Israel might be at risk of losing the right to host the contest.
Mr Omer has urged the state to find a solution to allow KAN to start with their preparations. He said:
KAN believes that the importance of hosting Eurovision cannot be underestimated. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity which can dramatically improve Israel’s image in the world and allow it to be presented in a positive light. However, without state assistance, KAN will be exposed to a substantial budget deficit which cannot be allowed.
As reported previously, KAN and the Israeli government have been involved in a dispute since the new broadcaster started airing last year. Whilst KAN demands complete independence, the government aims to control its content as a public broadcaster.
This has led to battles between the two authorities with emotions constantly on show, along with bruised ego and endless drama. It appears that Eurovision is a convenient platform for such “bloody” battle.
Stay tuned for more updates regarding this thriller.