Luxembourg hasn’t competed at Eurovision since 1993, but this year — with Eurovision being hosted in the Benelux region — fans were hoping the Grand Duchy would make a special appearance. But alas, national broadcaster RTL has confirmed that Luxembourg will NOT compete at Eurovision 2020.

The broadcaster confirmed their non-participation to ESCToday. An RTL spokesperson explained that the broadcaster’s focus is on news rather than music and entertainment shows. As well, participating in Eurovision would be a “financial strain on the broadcaster”.

Luxembourg’s only other EBU member broadcaster is the radio broadcaster ERSL.

The news will come as a disappointment to fans. Many were hoping that Luxembourg would make a special appearance, given that Eurovision 2020 will be hosted in the Benelux region.

Earlier in the year, a petition was launched to persuade Luxembourg to make a comeback. Despite being endorsed by Luxembourg’s Eurovision 1973 winner Anne-Marie David, it wasn’t enough to persuade anyone at the national broadcaster.

Luxembourg and Eurovision

This petition wasn’t the first to occur in Luxembourg since their withdrawal in 1993. In 2016 the government debated a potential comeback, but the broadcaster RTL ruled out making a comeback due to financial reasons.

At the time, the then director of programming for RTL Luxembourg, Steve Schmit, explained that RTL is a small station that only produces two hours of local television per day. While RTL is a commercial channel that also has public service requirements, he explained that “our strategy is focused on information and magazines.”

Despite being one of the smaller nations in Eurovision (it has a similar population as Montenegro), Luxembourg was one of Eurovision’s heavy hitters. In the 37 years it competed, Luxembourg racked up five wins — matched by France, the UK and the Netherlands and topped only by Sweden and Ireland.

But Luxembourg usually looked abroad for its Eurovision acts. All five of its winners came from outside the Grand Duchy, mostly from France.

Luxembourg last competed in 1993, where the band Modern Times performed “Donne-moi une chance” with French and Luxembourgish lyrics. The song placed 20th, Luxembourg’s fourth-worst result ever.

But regardless of the broadcaster’s lack of interest, Luxembourg has a thriving Eurovision fan base who still hope that one day their country will return to compete in Eurovision.

What do you think? Should RTL suspend its news programming and focus on Eurovision? Should the EBU allow another country’s broadcaster to manage Luxembourg’s act? Tell us your ideas for getting Luxembourg back to Eurovision!

Read more Luxembourg Eurovision news here

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Kiela
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Kiela

Why don’t they already choose Rotterdam? I mean 10.000-15.000 will attend the city. 185 million other will experience the show from the TV and it would be more pleasant video shots in Ahoy (Rotterdam)

Ahoy
Guest
Ahoy

So they chicken out.. surprise

Karlan
Guest
Karlan

Didn’t come back now-will never return.Slovakia can in case of victory of the Czech Republic? Also doubt.

Tom
Guest
Tom

Maybe

Karlan
Guest
Karlan

It’s horrible. Even Iceland will probably be barred from participating. The competition falls apart every year.

TheDr Mistery
Guest
TheDr Mistery

Every year it’s the same:
Luxembourg will NOT participate.
Monaco will NOT participate.
Morocco will NOT participate.
Andorra will NOT participate.
Turkey will NOT participate.
Slovakia will NOT participate.

Maybe make a news if someone will change their mind, otherwise what’s noteworthy about it?

KESC
Guest
KESC

You forgot Bosnia will NOT participate and I think Bulgaria is a new member of that category as well. :/

Alex
Guest
Alex

Bulgaria hoped to return in 2020 but their broadcaster was declared bankrupt.

WannaEatMySpaghetti
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WannaEatMySpaghetti

No no no… the broadcaster from Bulgaria is bankrupt only for eurovision. No problem for sportive events! It’s the same in a lot of country sadly. People prefer sport to music.

Darren
Guest
Darren

As one of the richest countries in Europe (and the world) I don’t see how they can’t afford to participate, especially when there is less wealthy countries who successfully participate every year (and sometimes even get great results). Luxembourg could return if they really wanted to. They just clearly don’t want to. The poor citizens being bombarded with news and current affairs constantly…RTÉ here in Ireland is the exact same. Very little entertainment programming, hence why our Eurovision eateries are usually awful. Is there any other broadcasters in Luxembourg who could join the EBU and take them back into the… Read more »

INAMOO
Guest
INAMOO

Just say you’re not motivated to join the contest.

Bella
Guest
Bella

Too bad, I gotta say I would love for them to return. But tbh, I understand that ESC is currently not their priority, but please stop using money as an excuse… Luxembourg is one of the richest countries on the planet, their GDP per capita is the highest IN THE WORLD. If Montenegro, Moldova and Belarus can find the money, Luxembourg could find it too (if they wanted to).

Muren
Guest
Muren

If I’m correct the money they have to pay isn’t the same for each country. Because Luxembourg is rich they have to pay much more then Montenegro.

Bella
Guest
Bella

… Which they can afford too. Believe me, they can afford anything they want. 😉

John McKraken
Guest
John McKraken

RTL Group (which owns RTL Télé Lëtzebuerg) is current €470 million in debt. The Grand Dutchy does not pay for the participation, the broadcaster does. As every indebted company would do, they are doing everything they can to cut expenses, which includes not taking part in Eurovision, as it would not generate sufficient revenue to cover the ~125,000€ RTL would have to pay. (Source: http://www.rtlgroup.com/files/pdf2/rtl_group_annual_report_20181.pdf)

Taz_Belgium
Guest
Taz_Belgium

RTL Luxemburg participated to the contest when a french-speaking TV channel was still broadcasting (and producing) from Luxemburg. It was during the period “Tele Luxembourg & RTL Television”, when that TV station was fully owned by RTL Group. As mentioned in the article, participants mainly came from France. After the split between the Belgian & Lux/French RTL TV channels (RTL-TVI in Belgium/ RTL Television in Lux/France) in 1987, RTL Television – still based in Luxemburg – remained alone as EBU member, but with a smaller audience (Belgian viewers were gone), hence less revenues. The sale of RTL Television (RTL9 from… Read more »

Skiwalko
Guest

Thanks for the insight. Still, to me it doesn’t explain the lack of will to participate. RTL Lux has really good rates (about 60-70%), the average viewership of 100.000 people and quite a lot of programmes in terms of the entertainment (quiz shows, talk shows, sport events broadcasts, programmes about cars, artists, films and music, cooking shows, they even had their own version of America’s Got Talent!) so why not try Eurovision for once? I think it would fit into younger audience oriented Den 2. RTL’s character. Well, a policy is a policy and we have to deal with it.

Alex
Guest
Alex

I don’t believe a word this country says.

John
Guest

It’s a bit of a shame really because there is very little presence of Luxembourg on the world stage. The country is hardly going to suddenly become amazing at football and win the world cup or win 30 Olympic medals – but with Eurovision it has a genuinely good chance! With such a big foreign-born population, I’m surprised they don’t look to ESC as an event that could bring people together to cheer for the country.

Skiwalko
Guest

Grand Duchy? More like Grand Douche.
Iceland has a long running professional show and the highest viewing rates in Europe, Malta is just Eurovision-obsessed and organized freaking X-Factor to select the representative, San Marino held a big national final involving singers from all over the world yet picking an artist and paying minimal participation fee is too much for you.
RTL, you have no balls.

Nefelibata.
Guest
Nefelibata.

So sad, I’ll be going to Luxembourg next year and I had a feeling they would return.

Bigger
Guest
Bigger

Oh well what a shame, it would be epic if they decided to come back, even though it was only one year, it would create some kind of sympathy towards the country.

What’s the demographics in Lux? Are there a lot of elderly who don’t want anything to do with (quick) entertainment (who also might happen to be in charge of the broadcaster)? In NL there is a special broadcaster dedicated to elderly, with a slower pace, slower programs, slower music, educative; it sounds like they’re similar to that.

Tajikistan
Guest
Tajikistan

Luxembourg is 50% foreign citizens, so I guess the 50% Luxembourgers don’t care since they’ve had almost 30 years without it or they can watch on French TV, and the other 50% will watch on their home country’s channel if they want to watch it

Bella
Guest
Bella

They have a big Portuguese diaspora (similar to Italians in Belgium or Turks in Germany), so Portugal would definitely get diaspora vote from them if they were to return.

Why
Guest
Why

4 people in Luxembourg love watching News, and 2 depressed Eurovision Fans.
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pepe
Guest
pepe

Some people seem to confuse the GDP of Luxembourg with the funding of the broadcaster.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

A luxembourgish broadcaster that only focuses on news? Like.. except for some economical things the most exciting thing to report about happening in luxembourg is a cat being stuck in a tree or something xD

zen
Guest
zen

It seems that there are a lot of news in Luxembourg, that they have no time and money for Eurovision.

Erste Reihe beim ESC
Guest
Erste Reihe beim ESC

I’ll bet my left ball that – if the EBU would ask Kazakhstan, those guys would walk barefoot over shattered glass to perform in the Eurovision …..so we should set our focus on the countries who want to participate and shouldn’t ask Luxembourg again.

yodenman
Guest
yodenman

Well said. Very good point. Why waste time on countries who have no interest in returning.

Daan
Guest
Daan

I guess they’ll only return if France wins someday

Jowst Nej
Guest
Jowst Nej

I don’t believe that Luxembourg struggles financially. Going by GDP per capita (PPP), Luxembourg is the richest country in Europe.

Shame they won’t be returning, I wanted the Benelux countries to reunite in the Netherlands.

Danny
Guest
Danny

It’s not Luxembourg struggling financially, it’s the broadcaster RTL Tele Leutzeburg. It’s two different identities.

Lisianthus
Guest
Lisianthus

Luxembourg has enough money. They claim they don’t have a chance of doing well at Eurovision because they’re a small country, but Luxembourg has more than half a million inhabitants, which is more than Iceland and Malta’s population.

Conor K
Guest
Conor K

Their 1993 entry sums it up perfectly. Eurovision is like: ‘Give me a chance’ and Luxembourg forever says no sadly

Tajikistan
Guest
Tajikistan

Maybe if we gave that song a chance they would still be here ahaha

Loin dici
Guest

No surprises, but I’d understand if they’d feel their regular fate would end up like Switzerland in the modern era.

Ariso Light
Guest
Ariso Light

Who came 4th this year

Loin dici
Guest

And didn’t qualify for 7/10 times this decade. Luca Hanni is not their regular fate.

Ariso Light
Guest
Ariso Light

It still goes to show that any country can turn their luck around

Ariso Light
Guest
Ariso Light

Yeah right. No moneys. What a lazy excuse.

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

Can they please stop with the no money nonsense! If Moldova and San Marino can participate then so can the far more wealthy Luxembourg. It’s just a complete lack of interest which in my opinion is unjustified.

James
Guest
James

They made it clear that apart from money, their programming is focused only news and current affairs, leaving very little room for entertainment.

It’s also different from the other RTL’s being run elsewhere in the region apparently.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

LITTLE room for entertainment? What DO they have for entertainment that is at least as big as Eurovision? They did win 4 of these, yes?

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

5 of them actually

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

I checked again. Thanks for the correction.

James
Guest
James

Commercial broadcasting hav since changed the landscape there and RTL itself went to a different direction in the years following its withdrawal.

In fact, RTL Télé Lëtzebuerg is a whole different entity from the overall RTL Group, one of Europe’s largest media entities.

sandpaper
Guest
sandpaper

*Pretends to be shocked*

but seriously, it would be amazing for them to have a return to the contest

KESC
Guest
KESC

We all know that this is NOT the reason why they do not want to return..

Btw any news on Liechtenstein??

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Could Liechtenstein saying “yes” change Luxembourg’s mind?

KESC
Guest
KESC

Unfortunately, no, since RTL doesn’t even wanna try since they think that their chances of success aren’t high.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

The chances of success for a country like Latvia weren’t high lately (2 qualifiers this entire decade); but they keep coming, because they have something unique to offer. So does Spain, despite their ongoing languish below the top 20. So does San Marino, with 2 qualifiers in their entire (though short) history. A country with 5 titles shouldn’t be THIS afraid of returning with little success. Not everyone expects Luxembourg to brush ALL of the rust off its shoulders after a TWENTY-SIX-YEAR layoff and come out swinging. We know they got the money; and even if they can’t send one… Read more »

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

Its ridiculous to say theat they don’t have money. I just don’t believe it.

KESC
Guest
KESC

Considering that some other countries can participate..

Heini
Guest
Heini

Yeah, they are the richest country in Europe 😀

Eurovisionfan12
Guest
Eurovisionfan12

It’s the broadcaster, not the whole country in general. Same goes to Andorra.