Earlier this week, the EBU released the list of the 41 countries competing in Eurovision 2020. And with it came the confirmation that Montenegro would not be among those competing in Rotterdam. Now broadcaster RTCG has revealed their reasons for withdrawing — and what they’ll be doing with the budget instead.
RTCG management confirmed that Director-General Božidar Šundić decided that Montenegro would not participate in Eurovision 2020.
Šundić previously spoke last week, following media reports of Montenegro’s withdrawal. At the time he said that a decision had not yet been made.
RTCG management has now confirmed that its reason for leaving Eurovision 2020 is financial. The broadcaster says that it must act responsibly and spend its budget with purpose.
The broadcaster has also confirmed that Montenegro’s poor Eurovision results in recent years were also behind its decision to withdraw. In a statement, an RTCG spokesperson said, “Eurovision costs around €130,000 each year. Our music representatives have achieved modest results for the most part. The finals were hard to come by.”
But what is RTCG instead doing with their Eurovision 2020 budget? New cars!
The broadcaster’s spokesperson also explained, “This year we decided to invest that money in the RTCG fleet renewal. The plan is to buy five new cars and this significantly improves the safety of our crews, which travel over 1,000 kilometres on a daily basis.”
For a broadcaster from one of the smallest countries in Europe, this does make sense. The broadcaster’s overall budget is limited and sometimes road safety is going to win out over Eurovision participation.
It also suggests that Montenegro’s departure from Eurovision won’t be permanent. Once the new fleet has been purchased, Montenegro may have the budget to return to Eurovision in 2021.
Montenegro at Eurovision
This won’t be the first occasion Montenegro has taken time off from the song contest. After debuting as an independent nation in 2007 and competing three times, Montenegro didn’t participate in 2010 and 2011, also for financial reasons.
Montenegro’s best years at Eurovision were 2014 and 2015, where Sergej Ćetković and Knez each made it to the grand final with emotional ballads in the Montenegrin language. Knez’s song “Adio” finished in 13th place in the grand final, giving Montenegro its best-ever result.
What do you think? Should the broadcaster be buying new cars? Or should they sacrifice road safety in favour of doing Eurovision? Tell us your thoughts below!