On July 31, the EBU agreed to KAN‘s request and extended the deadline to submit the €12 million security deposit to host Eurovision 2019 until August 14. This extension was given to allow KAN and the Israeli government to come to an agreement regarding the funding of the competition. As we reported earlier in the week, the dispute was almost resolved after a positive meeting between KAN and the government in which budget issues were discussed.

But now it seems that the crisis is far from being settled. On the contrary, it is escalating as the government still refuses to pay the deposit, claiming that KAN has enough in its budget to cover the deposit.

The new episode in this endless drama started earlier today after KAN had sent another letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In the letter, they warned that unless the government pays the deposit by the deadline,  KAN would have no choice but to inform the EBU that it waives its right to host Eurovision 2019. KAN’s CEO, Mr Gil Omer, wrote:

“After 14 August 2018, there will be no going back as this is a critical point after which Eurovision 2019 will not be able to take place in Israel”.

Omer added, that during the last two weeks, KAN has invested tremendous efforts to convince the state to help with the funding of the contest stressing the importance of hosting an international event such as Eurovision in Israel. But unfortunately, the state remains reluctant to cooperate thus resulting in this unfortunate situation.

As Ynet reports, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has earlier today responded to KAN’s “warning” saying that both himself the minister of finance “decided that a body with a budget of 750 million NIS from public funds, can find the resources to host the contest.”

The escalation has also been reported in Israel main news channels – Keshet and Reshet (Channels 12 and 13) covered the story in their 8pm editions. PM Netanyahu had been unofficially quoted saying that “KAN is playing chicken with the government and its intentions are simply to sabotage the event”.

Nothing describes this awkward situation better than Israeli news reporter, Keren Marziano, saying that “it is hard to believe how within three months the euphoria of winning, the contest has turned into such a mess”.

There is a speculation that the EBU has another country lined up to host should Israel not be able to do it. However, this has not been publicly confirmed.

What do you think? Is just another brinkmanship game? Or is it serious this time? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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 come up with 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. #eurovisionsongcontest #eurovision2019 #eurovision #esc2019

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Killian gormley
Guest
Killian gormley

Dublin or France or Cyprus or a raffle all of the country’s That never hosted before thx byyyyyyy

Noah
Guest
Noah

Please let Germany host. They hosted it so well and ARD won’t have this budget issues, because it’s Germany. Berlin 2019?

CyxCy
Guest
CyxCy

If they do not reach a solution, I pity the country that will inherit the organization of the contest at the last moment. It is an honor to host the competition, but they will also inherit all the problems that can not be solved.

David
Guest
David

Just book Petra, Måns, Edward af Sillen and SDF now and be done with it! 😉

Cesar's salad
Guest
Cesar's salad

No thanks. I still cringe over the awkward voting segment of 2016.

Giedre
Guest
Giedre

I mean KAN seems like they don’t want to host ESC, so why let them anyway? For example, after Salvador won we got venues, dates etc in like less than 1 month and now 3 month later we know absolutely nothing? I would love any other country to host it, ’cause Israel looks dissapointing now.

Thanos
Guest
Thanos

This has turned out to be just annoying. Decide anyway, can you host it or not? If not then the EBU will give the hosting rights to another more reliable broadcaster from a different country (possibly UK or Germany). In my opinion, the contest will be better organised by the british or german broadcasters, than by the israeli one. Waiting for an update on the matter!

ADd
Guest
ADd

I think broadcasters should be required to present the EBU with their ability to host if they win or declare their intention to decline hosting just to enter the contest.

Thanos
Guest
Thanos

Yes this can be a viable solution. Because right now the 2019 contest is turning out to be a mess and whoever hosts it at the end of the day will have less preparation time than is needed.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Portugal was oddly drama-free for ESC, so I guess we are back to Ukraine-level anticipation. Oh, we do need some drama.

Azuro
Guest
Azuro

Actually agree with the Israeli government. If Kan has that much money, why should the government step in.
I can’t imagine if the UK ever got to host, Theresa May would need to unzip her purse and start signing cheques.

NoGeoblocks
Guest
NoGeoblocks

What do you know about Kan’s budget? Should they also absorb the deposit if Israel finds itself in a war in May 2019? This is outside they’re budget. Dirty games by Bibi, trying to control the media in Israel.

Paul
Guest
Paul

At least Jeremy Corbyn will be happy

ADd
Guest
ADd

Watch it go to Sweden or Norway.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Just send the contest to Austria. Both KAN and the Israeli government are becoming more of a joke with all this nonsense drama. Does KAN have and can get the resources to host it? Then host it and shut up! They don’t? Then waive the right to host it and move on!

David
Guest
David

Isn’t there some super rich private donor who can step in?

Chris
Guest
Chris

Just bring it to Cyprus 😉

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

They declined in the past and it seems they will decline to host again. Its sad cause its a big chance to promote Israel but politics are -again- an issue. I dont want Germany to host, BBC can host it and it can work as a chance to increase the interest of british audience

James
Guest
James

The fact that Israel declined once FOURTY YEARS AGO really has nothing to do with the current situation, politically or financially.

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

i know it, i am just mentioning a fact.

James
Guest
James

Esc1234 – sorry if my response came across as aggressive.

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

Its Ok dude

Paul
Guest
Paul

I genuinely don’t know where the UK would host it. Although there’s loads of venues, id be amazed if any of them would be free for 6 weeks to host the content and the rehearsals

Sophie Adelaide
Guest
Sophie Adelaide

Since WiWiBloggs didn’t like my first comment I will give it another shot. Israël or KAN NEED TO GET IT TOGETHER. If Portugal was so Poor But still DELIVERD A smooth and AMAZING show there is NO excuse for them. Get Yo act together we will be just fine. O by the way. If They will fail i first thought of Germany and Uk But I’m leaning more towards Austria now, Nice friendly Save City and most logical choice as it did WIN the jury votes. Cyprus is too small and I Don’t think it is ready to host yet… Read more »

KESC
Guest
KESC

Proved it once, in which way? They are surely not the best option to host it, as we’ve seen in 2015. I would rather give the option more to countries that have never hosted the contest before, aka Cyprus or Czech Republic.

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

Eleni fans, you’re annoying.

Israel won. accept it.
Even If Israel didn’t host it, it wouldn’t be given to Cyprus. they don’t have the money, arena, or enough hotel rooms to host. not to mention that now we’re only 10 months away from the next competition, and the EBU will prefer to give it to some country that hosted it before, because they have the infrastructure, facilities and experience to host.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Then in your case, it would go to Austria, 3rd in this year’s contest. If they decline, it goes to Germany.

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

Most likely, Of course in the case where we don’t eventually host.

I was commenting on the obnoxious, tiresome behaviour of Eleni fans to pop out in every situation and suggesting Eleni should have won and Cyprus should host the next edition. the first one didn’t happen, the last one is literally impossible.

KESC
Guest
KESC

Did anyone comment here that Cyprus should have won?!

Har
Guest
Har

First off, its not only Eleni fans who want the competition hosted in Cyprus… Cyprus was the runner up of the competition, its only fair that they get the opportunity to host. Second, Cyprus is a tourism hot spot… Not enough hotels my ass lmaooo, Cyprus has more then enough hotels. Third, when Cyprus was looking like they were going to win coming up to the finals, the head of the Cypriot delegation said that Cyprus is more then ready to host… Which means they have the funds to host the contest, also the Cypriot economy is booming right now… Read more »

YoungsterJoey
Guest
YoungsterJoey

As much as people are alright w/ Germany as backup host, why not France? It would be a major change to see if they’ll focus on French than English or not.

FanESC
Guest
FanESC

As a French, I can tell you that almost everybody would disagree. French people would say that they don’t want to pay for Eurovision because we didn’t win. But if EBU asks to Edoardo Grassi, I’m pretty sure we would say “yes”. And what if we organize Eurovision 2019 and we win that same year ? We would organize it two years in a row ? Personnally, I would love to see it in Austria. But UK would also be a good choice : maybe they would finally send a good song to not be ridiculous to hosting the contest… Read more »

CyxCy
Guest
CyxCy

Oula! Yes indeed. I’m French too and I can guarantee you that the French viewers would be furious to pay for a Eurovision that we didn’t win. Already some hope that France will never win again to not have to pay … It’s a sad mentality and Edoardo will still have a lot of work to make things happen.

john12
Guest
john12

So sad if after all the esc won’t be held in israel next year!!

Africavision
Guest
Africavision

Yoh! And we thought that Ukraine had issues last year. Israel just came in with a Franka mic-steal move. lol

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

As an Israeli, Here is an explanation of what’s going on. And no, it’s not about the LGBT community or the Shabat. In the beginning there was channel 1. Channel 1, the previous national broadcaster was corrupted and inefficient. we, the Israelis, had to pay for this channel from our taxes, and most of that money went for supersized salaries for Channel 1 employees. The channel did not use to leave any money for real productions or TV shows. it was this ancient, super bad channel that no-one actually watched. Remember Moran and Mei? They had to pay for their… Read more »

NoGeoblocks
Guest
NoGeoblocks

Very long. Here it is in short:
Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to get ‘Kan’ to close since before it even started broadcasting. Therefore it is his dream to see the channel lose money, struggle and close. The man cares only about himself. Since the competition won’t be hels in Jerusalem and politicians are not allowed, he could not care less about Eurovision. Sad.

isabel
Guest
isabel

Comparing with how smooth everything was in Portugal last year, 2019 is becoming a mess.

Thanos
Guest
Thanos

I couldn’t agree more! It’s already August and we don’t have the faintest idea, where the contest will be held, while last year we even knew the venue by the end of May. Regardless of where it will be held after all, a lot of valuable time has already been lost, so the hosts will really have to make a good and at the same time quick preparation. Nevertheless I believe the quality standards of next year’s Eurovision will be very low due to this situation!

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

don’t understand why people downvote your comment, you are correct.

The reason for that dispute is not economical, it’s political, and it’s sad.

Arizona
Guest
Arizona

Yoy may call me conspirationicious BUT elections in Israel are soon enough in 2019 (I guess), Netanyahu’s gov is supported by orthodox and religious lobbies and to be thought that Goverment paid for a mostly-gay-festival celebrated on holy day Sabbath maybe it’s not the best for his voting/alliance interests. Am I too wrong? And btw, it’s said that if Israel does not host, Austria does. Why not Cyprus as runner-up?!

Eastman
Guest
Eastman

Why not Cyprus as potential back-up host? For a start, they don’t have a suitable venue…

Arizona
Guest
Arizona

Isnt there any Foureira Arena yet?

allexo
Guest
allexo

So, Germany, Austria or UK to host next year what do you guys think. Sorry for my rudeness but Israel you are SCREWED.

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

Let’s not think about it until tomorrow’s noon. we’ll all be smarter tomorrow. right now we know nothing.

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

Completely agree, with so many things that can change in the next 24 hours I wouldn’t go off saying anything is guaranteed just yet

Corey Lust
Guest
Corey Lust

Give it to Sweden. They always put on an amazing Eurovision

Lloyd
Guest
Lloyd

If another country hosts, which country gets a spot in the final, Israel or the hosting country? Or would it be both?

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

were under the impression it would be the country hosting it. This has never come up since the introduction of the semi finals

Fredrik
Guest
Fredrik

Intresting opinion. I think Israel should go through the semi if they dont host. Just the big 5 pre qualifies then. ps there are always drama in the ESC seasons and almost everytime it is big fuzz about nothing. Im sure Israel will host it :)-. They must have knew that the broadcaster had less money long before they entered in 2018. You cant be in if you cant win i think.

AAS
Guest
AAS

Probably gonna be a big five hosting which means Israel may get a place in the final

mad-professor
Guest
mad-professor

Probably still Israel because they won.

YoungsterJoey
Guest
YoungsterJoey

Maybe both. Will that mean 27 countries in the final or one less spot in one of the semi-finals. These are things the EBU needs to determine just in case.

Gobio
Guest
Gobio

Why don’t they just agree to do Half – Half? This is a pointless argument that wiil lead to nowhere.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

If the broadcaster doesn’t have the money, the hosting won’t happen. It’s that simple.
Funny thing is that the government says the broadcaster DOES have the money, so someone is obviously either lying or is incompetent (or both). Either way, it doesn’t matter after 14 August. Time is like thunder, ha haaa ha haaa

Denis
Guest
Denis

There was never this much drama around Ukraine and Portugal, and those were drama filled.
In the end I think there will be an agreement, it is just a case of a government getting drunk on power and showing who¨s the boss. Which is never a good thing!

Janeee
Guest
Janeee

Portugal wasn’t drama filled at all… The only issue I remember was the fact that the stage had no LED screens, but it isn’t a problem per se. It was such stylistic choice the fans were not happy with.

Dani
Guest
Dani

Portugal drama-filled? It was the smoothest organization of the last few years.

YoungsterJoey
Guest
YoungsterJoey

Not much drama with Ukraine? Yes there was! lol! Portugal probably saved the EBU from so many headaches from Ukraine’s hosting problems (all of which is available easily online).

or1212
Guest

The budget for the Eurovision Song Contest is approved. More than 35 million euros. Let’s see what happens …

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

It wasn’t approved, it was discussed only.

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

purely in theory but I have a question. IF Israel ends up losing hosting rights and i goes to the 2nd place Cyprus. Who would qualify automatically to the final?. Israel as the winners or Cyprus as the host?. Or maybe a 27 country final?

Again no idea what happens in that type of scenario which is why im throwing it out there

James
Guest
James

I am not an expert, but as far as I understand the rules, the host has direct access to the final (which is fair) – not the winner.

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

Cool thanks, just did not know what the process for it would be 🙂

Denis
Guest
Denis

The host country would be DQ. If Israel were to not host they would have to qualify. At least I Think. We have never had this kind of situation during semi final era

Dani
Guest
Dani

It won’t go to Cyprus. Cyprus doesn’t have a suitable arena.
But in my opinion, if this happens, both Israel and the hosting country shold be pre qualified. If they had a 27 country final in 2015 just to accomodate Australia they could do the same in this situation.

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

Although, I woudn’t worry about qualification anymore… since 2015 we know how to blast the stage..

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

(I’m Israeli) I’m super disgusted by both the government and KAN for the way they are dealing with the Eurovision Song Contest.
It’s nothing like we are used to in Israel where we can put politics in it and fight like children…. This one is actually serious….
Cyprus? Austria? Germany? UK? Anyone’s able to take it from us? Please?

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

All of these makes me wonder… When are the next Israeli parliamentary elections and if it’s possible to beat Bibi out of office?

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

It will probably happen in 2019 somewhen
As for Bibi, people are still voting…. Ugh

Arizona
Guest
Arizona

Only Bibi I know is BeBe Zahara Benet.

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

I find the situation disheartening, though it would be great to go to Israel, I don’t think either side wants to buckle. Rumor has it that Austria is the back up. That is not a bad choice as their show, fake applause aside, was quite good an it may have Slovakia reconsider its decline to participate as they are neighbors.

Overall.
I really think if this is the way its going to be going fir Israel, then I do not want it there. Give it to a professional and lets get this show rolling!

Philip
Guest
Philip

I think its pretty sad to see KAN and the government fighting about such a great event. I wouldn’t be mad if the contest is held in another country. If KAN can’t get the security deposit I think one of the Big 5 is most likely to host it. They all have the money for it. I would like to see the UK or Germany hosting in 2019. Both countries have the venues and the capacity to host such a contest and they also have beautiful cities for instance in Germany I can think of Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich.… Read more »

Lloyd
Guest
Lloyd

I’d love for the UK to host. We may not be able to win but at least this way we can have the contest here.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

I don’t understand. It’s a deposit. If you’re gonna get the same amount of money back in a year why make such a big fuss about it. Israel is richer than ukraine and portugal. If they could do it then so can israel.

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

It’s not about being richer. It’s apparently a strategy by the Netanyahu government to punish KAN for going their own way regarding Eurovision. The Israeli government wants a lot of power in the logistics of the event (they want Jerusalem to be the host over KAN’s choice of Tel Aviv and to have more control on KAN’s programming and overall organization). I’m pretty sure they’ll make the deposit, but it seems the government wants to show KAN “who is boss” in such a childish bully-esque way.

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

Thats what I was thinking! If the show is a success, you get profit. So I really don’t get the fuss.

Vanuatu
Guest
Vanuatu

To me KAN seems to be trying to get some profit of the situation. With this data, I agree with the israeli government: KAN has a budget of 177 million euros., and they should be able to pay those 12 millions as fee without any issue (i mean, the money will be back if they do their job is just a garantee, the EBU is not going to steal that money). I feel KAN is playing the victim, when they are actually threating both the israeli government and eurovision. In any case, i hope some day the rule about win=host… Read more »

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

You know the country wins the rights but they aren’t forced or obligated to host the event, right? There have been plenty of times where Eurovision didnt take place in the previous year’s winning country. And that bs about “not sending their best songs” is relative. Are you expecting the UK to send Ed Sheeran or Adele? Are you expecting Sweden or Spain to send their big A stars?

Eastman
Guest
Eastman

Yup and there’s no reason why hosting Eurovision shouldn’t be a cost effective exercise. As we saw with Stockholm and Lisbon, it’s possible to do it on a budget and still put on a great show. Smart sponsorships ensure the host broadcaster isn’t stuck picking up the entire tab.

This reminds me – there’s a hilarious rumour that San Marino sent Who We Are to Lisbon to ensure it wouldn’t quality, therefore saving them two nights accomodation for the delegation – a big saving for a small country!

James
Guest
James

This might get solved at the last minute, but it’s not a matter of money or even of the host city debate, I think. The relations between the government (i.e. Netanyahu) and the media are inherently broken. He has done much in his power to weaken and discredit the media and the levels of mutual distrust are rocketing. This fiasco is just a symptom of how dysfunctional the system is at the moment.

Oscillate
Guest
Oscillate

the issue here is not (solely) money.

netanyahu, the evil, and his government want to control who should be the host city that is why they are putting KAN in a dilemma.

RoyalPilot116
Guest
RoyalPilot116

On one hand I hope they do host it, because they won the contest. On the other hand, I hope it goes to Cyprus, which is not that far from Israel. Cyprus 2019 Anybody? Eleni Foureira will be there!

Yanis2Y
Guest
Yanis2Y

No chance. Cyprus doesn’t even have a suitable concert arena.

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

Or enough money

Alex
Guest
Alex

48 Hours? Omg

Boycott Jerusalem 2019
Guest
Boycott Jerusalem 2019

I’m sure they budget will be approved a minute before the clock strucks midnight. Everyone loves a bit of suspense.

Joe
Guest
Joe

I feel like Bibi won’t let this slip through his fingers so easily. Too much of a good PR opportunity for Israel. It’d really suck if they lost it, but hopefully they won’t.

Jack Lawson
Editor

There’s no way he would pass up this opportunity.

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

While the core of the problem is that the government wanted KAN to fund it independently, they have to realize KAN also have lot other programs to fund and a lot of money to circulate in the office, they can’t put all their greens on one show and have nothing left to run their business. I wonder if this is a government drama and at the last 12 hours Netanyahu will agree to help funding ESC19, I just hope….

opus1612
Guest
opus1612

How ironic it is for those that last year were making jokes and complaining about RTP organization, about being “cheap” or because its a “country that came from economic crisis,so they have to cut budget on everything to host?” Well ,with all respect to the israeli fans, but it seems that Isarel isn’t that powerful after all and Portugal isnt so much a “third world country” as most Europeans like to think..

Jack Lawson
Editor

Israel clearly has the money. This is just a matter of each department trying to pass the bill to someone else until they have to actually cough up the money. Perhaps Bibi is using this as a ploy to regain control over the host city. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is an issue of economic wealth.

opus1612
Guest
opus1612

For the happiness of the Israeli eurofans I really hope that you are right…but still, it’s a shameful situation for the Israeli organization and government, all this controversies.First the host city and its implications, then the religious leaders against the contest and now…the money. But let’s see how it goes…Until now?not very good.

Sash I
Guest
Sash I

That same situation was with Ukraine in 2017. When everybody doubted if a country with an ongoing military conflict could put up such a big event. Well, Ukraine and Portugal managed in the end. As for Izrael, it’s not a good sign to have issues at such an early stage of preparations.

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

This is just extremely sad. I can’t believe that the country may lose the right to host this wonderful event. If I were Netta I would be extremely furious.

Darn
Guest
Darn

Yeah… Netta said in so many interviews that she’s doing it for Israel and how she wants the people of the world to visit her country and enjoy it as much as she does. If they refuse to host it’s going to be devastating for her and the team.

Flynn
Guest
Flynn

At this point I can’t see either side folding but I’m really not sure the EBU should allow extensions, if it’s struggling with host duties even in the early stages then it’s likely someone is going to have to step in and it’ll just be logistical nightmare

As for backups I think it’ll be Sweden or UK who will host if Israel don’t as Sweden seem to be the ones to step in nowadays and help but traditionally UK is the one to pick up hosting duties if a country can’t afford or refuses to host

Paul
Guest
Paul

Wasn’t there a rumour that it wasn’t going to be Austria? I think it’d b Germany- they’re the back up if Australia win

Flynn
Guest
Flynn

Austria would be a good option also I’m not sure where the speculation it would host came from though

mad-professor
Guest
mad-professor

Pretty sure it was the former HoD for Israel who said the EBU were looking at Austria as a backup, which makes sense as they won the jury vote.

Dani
Guest
Dani

The EBU is probably in talks with Austria because they finished third. This is because the second placed Cyprus can’t host (their biggest arena only holds 6500 people), otherwise Cyprus would be their second choice. If ORF doesn’t want to host in short term they’d probably turn to Germany, not only because they were 4th but also because Germany seems to be the main back-up plan in most emergencies.

Darren
Guest
Darren

Is the Israeli government refusing to assist KAN because the broadcasters preferred host city is Tel Aviv while Netanyahu wants Jerusalem I wonder?
I hope Israel can host ESC 2019, it would be a massive benefit for the country, and also no country has refused ESC hosting since the 70s I think.
I have a feeling Germany, Sweden or Austria might be getting a call from the EBU soon…

Crystal
Guest

The last time a country did not host a Eurovision after winning the previous year was Israel in 1980, and it declined to host the Contest that year for two reasons. The first was that it had just hosted and won in 1979 (as result of winning in 1978), and the station was unsure if it had the funds to put together the Contest for a second straight year. The second reason (and ultimately the nail in the coffin for Israel’s bid that year) was that the EBU set the date of the Final for the same day as Yom… Read more »

James
Guest
James

I’m pretty sure Israel can still compete even if it ever withdraws its hosting duties. They would only have to reduce the budget they have for their part of the hosting and focus on just participation in association with Keshet that produces Rising Star as the national artist selection.

Whether or not a Big 5 member steps in to host, I don’t think the EBU would take away Israel’s spot for the final, in respect to their victory this year.