It looks like the ongoing saga over who will pay the security deposit for Eurovision 2019 is coming to an end. Israeli press is reporting that broadcaster KAN and the Israeli government have finally reached an agreement on how the EBU security deposit will be covered.
Haaretz news sources report that the €12 million security deposit will be paid to the EBU by the host broadcaster, KAN, who will take out a bank loan to cover it.
If the song contest goes ahead with no major disruptions, the deposit will be refunded to the broadcaster and the loan will be repaid. However, if something does happen to disrupt the contest, the EBU may keep some or all of the deposit to cover the cost of hosting Eurovision in a new location — a loss that KAN can’t sustain.
This is where the Israeli government is said to be stepping in. Haaretz reports that if the contest doesn’t go ahead due to situations such as war, an earthquake or political pressure from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the Israeli Treasury will step in and ensure KAN’s loan is repaid.
However, this agreement has not been publicly confirmed by either party and KAN is not currently commenting on the matter.
View this post on Instagram
The EBU is making it clear that the show will go on…even if the internal drama in Israel leads it to forfeit its #Eurovision hosting rights. They said: “The EBU is working closely with KAN ahead of [the 14 August] deadline, on advancing arrangements for next year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Israel. Every year financial guarantees must be made to the EBU before plans are put in place and the host city for the Eurovision Song Contest is announced. If a situation ever arose in which a broadcaster could not fulfil their requirements there are always contingency plans in place, as is normal when planning such a large event with many international stakeholders.” #eurovisionsongcontest #eurovision2019
The agreement follows weeks of back and forth between the two parties. Since July, KAN has been mulling over the issue of how to cover the cost of the security deposit. The broadcaster has repeatedly said they could not simply take it out their overall budget and instead wanted the Israeli government to cover costs.
The government refused to lend a hand, saying the broadcaster should take it out of their budget. The situation also follows previous tensions between KAN and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Whatever decision is reached, it will need to be made today. The European Broadcasting Union previously extended its deadline to give KAN more time to reach an agreement. But the deadline has been reached and KAN must provide the security deposit to the EBU today or risk forfeiting the right to host Eurovision 2019.