Ukraine’s cash-strapped broadcaster UA:PBC has well-documented financial problems. And that’s part of the reason it’s signed a three-year memorandum with private broadcaster STB to cooperate on Vidbir, the country’s national selection for Eurovision. The agreement covers 2019, 2020 and 2021. Breathe deep and say thank you: They ain’t pulling a Bulgaria.
In a statement published by STB today, the network’s director Vladimir Borondiansky was full of praise for STB’s partnership with UA:PBC, which started in 2016.
“Beginning with our cooperation with UA:PBC three years ago, the STB channel set itself the goal of creating a mega-event in which every professional artist could introduce himself to Europe. And we succeeded, because in three years the National Selection has opened a lot of new names to the general public, given a successful start to many young artists, and the selection itself became the main musical event of the year and attracted the attention of successful producers and patrons.”
“This is a very decent result, which we are proud of. Therefore, we want to continue our cooperation with UA:PBC, concentrating on production and creating what STB can do best — an on-going large-scale television project, which is now the National Selection for Eurovision.”
Zurab Alasania, chairman of the board of the national broadcaster, is as enthusiastic.
“Taking into account the experience of previous years, we are pleased to continue our cooperation with STB, as they are confident that Ukraine will be represented in the best way: young artists will receive a platform, spectators will be satisfied with high-quality shows, and voting for a representative of Ukraine will be honest and open.”
“As the youngest European public broadcaster that is in a state of transformation and under 50% underfunded, we believe that our cooperation with the commercial channel for the Eurovision project is economically feasible: by ourselves, we cannot now ensure the high quality of the National Selection as a commercial channel can.”
STB will assume all the costs associated with staging the national selection, including the live broadcasts of the shows. It’s also — of its own will — offered to support the winner of the show with additional financial support as they prepare for the Eurovision Song Contest.
Last year, for the first time ever, STB and UA:PBC’s first channel both broadcast the main competition.
The three shows of Vidbir 2018 will be aired lived on February 9, 16 and 23 simultaneously on STB and UA:PBC’s first channel.