With the planning for Eurovision 2020 now staring them in the face, Dutch broadcasters NOS/NPO face the huge task of paying for the lights, rigs, special effects, security, catering and all the rest that comes with hosting. All these services and technologies add up fast, as we can see from the public tender documents. NOS/NPO have set up a bidding process to bring in external firms to take care of this important work. When you tally up all their estimated costs you arrive at a big number: 12.5 million euros.

Dutch news website RTLZ has looked into the tenders and come up with some insights into the costs that NOS/NPO will face. Curiously, the tender mentions that the bidding process has to be conducted entirely in Dutch. This might be a way of ruling out foreign agencies. This would essentially ensure that the winning bid comes from The Netherlands, although firms in Flanders — the Dutch-speaking region of Belgium — could also throw their hats in.

In fact, in recent years various companies from Flanders have worked on lighting, sound, special effects, camera effects and so for the Eurovision Song Contest. These companies include Videohouse (city of Vilvoorde, broadcast and cameras), AED group (moving light fixtures, city of Willebroek), The Powershop (power generators, city of Werchter), AVM (pyrotechnics, city of Aalst) and of course WI Creations, (town of Heist-Op-Den-Berg) who delivered the lifts that where used for Cesar Sampson and Alekseev during their performances. Will the Dutchies go over the border again for the know-how they need?

NOS/NPO foresee the following costs, which add up to 12.5 million euros.

  • Moving/Motion elements (special effects): 300,000 – 600,000 euros
  • Light: 1 – 1.5 million euros
  • Special cameras: 300,000 – 600,000 euros
  • Multiple camera management: 750,000 – 1 million euros
  • Sound: 500,000 – 1 million euros
  • Video screens: 0.5 – 1.5 million euros
  • Lifting machinery: 300,000 – 600,000 euros
  • Security: 2.5 – 3.5 million euros
  • Crew catering: 750,000 – 1 million euros

How will NPO fund Eurovision 2020?

In the meantime, NOS/NPO has started discussions with the government, which stated in May that it will not provide extra funding for the song contest. Shula Rijxman, the Head of Board for the broadcaster, told the host city press conference in Rotterdam and later the chat show host Jinek that she’d request up to 20 million euros.

“We are going to ask the government for a contribution. The public broadcaster has cut costs a lot. There is again a budget cut on its way to us. This is a great event that can put The Netherlands economically and culturally on the map. It’s really a festival for and from The Netherlands. And therefore we will also ask the government for funding. It’s only now possible to make the budget overview, so we still need to look into it, but it will be an amount in between 15 and 20 million.”

The broadcaster is poised for some difficult discussions. Prime Minister Rutte addressed the issue of funding on Dutch talkshow WNL Op Zondag in May 2019 — right after Duncan Laurence’s win.

“It isn’t a popular idea (to use money from taxpayers for Eurovision). In Sweden it was organized for 15 million. They can do that from the current budgets. I have the impression, if I look at the salaries (of the NPO/NOS), there is still room there. We will see how it goes, but to immediately put tax money into it… You (NOS/NPO) have enough budget”. 

Following the announcement of Rotterdam as host city last week, the topic has once again been discussed in Dutch politics. Some political parties — like the CDA, D66 and Groenlinks — have shown a willingness to help…though to a lesser extent than NPO would like. At the very least they want to see a business case first. SP, PVV and VVD are less generous, saying the NPO/NOS have a sufficient budget and that “the time of holding up their hands is really over”.

It’s unlikely that Prime Minister Rutte will leave the NOS/NPO hanging in times of need. He was one of the Dutchies who shared in the excitement of Duncan’s win.

Translation:

Awesome! For the first time in 44 years, the Netherlands wins the Eurovision Song Contest. Very clever how @dunclaurence has managed to fulfill his role as favorite with a sublime and powerful performance. I just spoke to Duncan and wished him congratulations! #ESF19

What do you think? Does the NOS/NPO budget look right to you? Will the Dutch Government come through with a bag of money or will it leave Rotterdam to fend for itself? Will The Netherlands make use of all that Flemish experience across the border? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Carla
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Carla

I ‘m not worried at all.
There will be enough money to make a beautiful
contest. One way or the other.

berlin eurovision
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berlin eurovision

question in general for all Eurofans 🙂
I really want to go to Eurovision this year but none of my friends want to go with me.. therefore I would have to go completely lonely.. is it worth it to go alone, will you get to know some people? Thanks in advance 🙂

Nikki
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Nikki

If you don’t mind a get drilled useless art facts and eat halal/ veggie, maybe you can join hubby and I. Hubby would love have someone else to listen to my art crap. :-p

TheSneakyHider
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TheSneakyHider

I also need a mate to go with me to eurovision if we do decide to go.

Bigger
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Bigger

I would be surprised if they wouldn’t. They seem to throw millions of euros easier at sport events each year. And not only the sport events itself but also everything around it like security, transportation, circulation. But then there is one once in a lifetime event which could display the entire country and the Dutch culture globally even to South-America, South-east-Asia and Australia, the culture which many are so proud of (I’m specifically looking at the populist nationalist PVV) and then they say NO! What is this money waste?? This could better go to the poor and healthcare (and then… Read more »

Bigger
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Bigger

And let’s not forget. Many of the megaprojects like infrastructure or those festivals which need extra funding don’t pay themself off directly or completely, while Eurovision does (i.e. in the form of taxes). And when it is not in the couple of months that Eurovision is being held, it is also the years after or even decades after. Young viewers now might consider to visit Rotterdam in 30 years when they visit NL, because they once saw it in 2020, and are familiar with it. So it seems to me like a smaller risk of “losing” money.

Roelof Meesters
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Roelof Meesters

20 million euros isnt a lot when you consider that we have roughly 10 million taxpayers in our country. I can see why they are hesitating to give it to the contest but they also need to consider that it can be seen as some form of a loan because the people visiting here will be paying the government directly (taxes over products). I think that the government will give the money, and otherwise the NPO can lend the money given the incredibly low interest rate.