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!