It don’t come easy, and it don’t come cheap. But the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 is most definitely coming to the Netherlands. Now a big question: Who will produce the 65th edition of the contest and most importantly who will pay for it?
We should start this discussion by clarifying that the Netherlands’ Eurovision broadcaster AVROTROS will not be solely responsible for hosting and producing the event. It will be a collaboration with news broadcaster NOS, and it will be monitored closely by the public broadcaster’s umbrella organisation NPO.
As you’re fully aware, it takes a lot of cash to produce one of the world’s biggest live television events. But Prime minister Mark Rutte has already stated publicly that the Dutch government will not neccesarily equip umbrella public broadcasting organisation NPO with any additional funds. They should instead first try to finance it within the existing budget.
Geweldig! Voor het eerst in 44 jaar wint Nederland het Eurovisie Songfestival. Heel knap hoe @dunclaurence met een subliem en krachtig optreden zijn favorietenrol waar heeft weten te maken. Heb Duncan zojuist gesproken en hem van harte gefeliciteerd! #ESF19 pic.twitter.com/irCiEeBzRx
— Mark Rutte (@MinPres) May 18, 2019
As we reported a few weeks before Eurovision, The Netherlands already had a basic plan of how to host Eurovision should Duncan Laurence win.
A spokesperson for the NPO, the parent organisation of all public broadcasters in the Netherlands, told RTL Nieuws that a generic scenario to host Eurovision has been in the drawers of the public broadcaster for several years now.
“There is a scenario concerning the outline, but we will only start working with it after the Netherlands has won the final.”
Surely that would include matters of finance. We haven’t seen the document, but given how far ahead they have been thinking of things, it seems likely they would have some behind-the-scenes plans in place.
The Netherlands has perhaps one of the most confusing and complex public broadcaster structures in Europe, which needs some explanation.
As a result of extreme divides in society at the time of the surge of television in Europe, called pillarisation, the Dutch public broadcaster became a union of several broadcasters with those broadcasters each having their own political or spiritual identity. This was to give every part of society broadcasting time.
The two broadcasters which came together to form AVROTROS originally had more of a liberal stance, but as with many broadcasters, this stance has become less and less visible as time has gone on. Nowadays, the amount of broadcasting time is allocated by the amount of members each broadcaster has.
As the NPO is the parent organisation of AVROTROS, it will mainly be the NPO that would deal with the finances and the subsidies for Eurovision.
NPO told RTL Nieuws that financing is something that they would obviously discuss with the EBU at a later stage. AVROTROS would, however, still take care of all the creative work in the event of hosting.