Time to fly the red, white and blue! Netflix USA and Eurovision have announced that all three of the shows from the 2019 contest in Tel Aviv will be available to view on the popular streaming service from 22nd July. And as an added bonus, the 2020 contest will also be available once the show has taken place.
— Eurovision (@Eurovision) July 19, 2019
Good news for #Eurovision fans living in the United States: Netflix has licensed the 2019 and 2020 seasons of the Eurovision Song Contest! The 2019 season will be available on July 22! pic.twitter.com/hiHrdh46Ae
— See What's Next (@seewhatsnext) July 19, 2019
Taking the contest across the pond…
There are several theories as to why the contest is going onto Netflix in the United States, the most prominent being the much-anticipated Will Ferrell movie Eurovision, which is coming to the streaming service in the near future. It’s no secret that the Hollywood icon has been at the contest for several years doing research and his company’s production trucks were spotted at the Tel Aviv EXPO. There are also rumours that Rachel McAdams has been in talks to appear in the film.
With the moving coming soon, they need to build hype and give Americans a bit of context so there’s plenty of viewers clamouring to get a peek. Without this build-up, there may not be so much interest in the film.
There’s also the fact that Swedish Eurovision maestro Christer Bjorkman announced in Tel Aviv that his latest project is the American Song Contest. The details are vague, but a show with competing states is in the works, aiming for 2021.
Christer wouldn’t discuss which networks they were in talks with, but could it be Netflix? With the service again needing to boost interest in the original to then understand the new, could they be introducing America to it this way?
Eurovision Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand lends weight to this theory. In a statement, he noted that “This is perfect timing with plans to launch a US version of the Contest in 2021.”
Reaction online is varied, with most being delighted with the move. The possibility to have the semis and the final available on demand, in a country where Eurovision’s YouTube videos are geo-blocked, is a huge plus. However, many are commenting they’d rather have the next edition streamed live. Also, there are questions about Madonna’s performance in the show. Will it display the Palestinian flag on the stream? Are Madonna’s vocals going to be the ‘re-worked’ edition on “Like A Prayer”?
There’s also plenty of Europeans who are upset to not have the show going to their respective Netflix services. Of course the shows are available on YouTube outside of the US. Even so, a Netflix presence could bring non-fans to the contest.
There are also plenty of fans wishing a back-catalogue of the shows could go on the service, as there are a limited number of shows available on YouTube. For instance, you can find 2017 Semi 1 there, but not Semi 2. There’s also no pre-2016 finals there in complete form — i.e. not a playlist.
— Sasha ?? (@eurotrashsash) July 19, 2019
— Matt Herdman (@MattHerdman) July 19, 2019
Netflix picking up Eurovision in America….I take back everything bad I said. Destroy our entertainment industry, kings!!!
— It means "Blessed" in Fae (@RyneIsMean) July 19, 2019
We’re super excited to see Eurovision fever spread across the globe. Will you be watching (and watching…and watching…) the contest on Netflix? Are you excited for Will Ferrell’s movie? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to find us on Twitter HERE, and delve into hours of Eurovision goodness on our YouTube channel HERE.