Since the EBU announced that it has cancelled Eurovision 2020, various broadcasters have expressed their opinions about the situation, most expressing sadness and regret, some looking ahead to 2021. Now the Director-General of San Marino‘s broadcaster SMRTV has issued a statement, strongly criticising the decision to cancel Eurovision 2020.
Carlo Romeo, the Director-General of San Marino’s national broadcaster SMRTV has issued a statement, expressing his displeasure with the EBU’s decision to call off the 2020 contest.
In the statement, the Sammarinese broadcaster shares the channel’s dissatisfaction with the EBU’s decision to cancel the Eurovision Song Contest for 2020. His prefered outcome would be to postpone the 2020 edition to either some time in the autumn or to the usual time in May 2021.
Romeo writes of the potential to have Eurovision open the television schedule for the 2020-2021 season, sending a strong signal through the “international language of music”. Romeo also stresses the importance of taking health precautions for such an event.
The EBU’s take on matters
However, the European Broadcasting Union has explained in a Frequently Asked Questions section why postponing the contest was not possible. The EBU wrote:
“The current situation across Europe is likely to remain uncertain for the coming months and at this stage we cannot guarantee we would be able to stage an event of this size with this many stakeholders later this year. A Contest later in the year would also reduce the amount of time the winning broadcaster would have to prepare for the following year’s competition.”
The EBU has not, however, confirmed if broadcasters will be able to keep their Eurovision 2020 songs for 2021. Ordinarily, songs cannot have been released prior to 1 September in the year before the contest. The EBU says this possibility will be “discussed with the Reference Group and the participating broadcasters and a decision will be communicated later.”
Other broadcasters have expressed an interest in using their Eurovision 2020 songs in the next edition of the contest, while others are already looking ahead to their 2021 national selection process.
Carlo Romeo’s statement regarding the cancellation of Eurovision 2020
“Carlo Romeo: Postponement yes, cancellation no
“Quite right – obviously – the decision by Eurovision 2020 to cancel the date of mid-May but as a broadcaster, and I am sure I am not the only one, it would certainly have been more logical not a total cancellation of the event but, as happened for the Europeans, a postponement to autumn 2020 or directly to 2021. It would be the choice of common sense that would avoid predictable aftermath between courts and media with potential class action or single actions by all the parties concerned, not least the artists themselves and Eurovision fans Postponing everything to the end of September or the beginning of October – without prejudice to health security, an absolute priority for all – would also give the possibility to all State radio and television stations to open their 2020-2021 schedules with Eurovision 2020, giving a significant and strong signal of taken up through the international language of music .”
San Marino’s history of complaints
This is not the first time Romeo has spoken out on behalf of SMRTV.
In 2016, he issued a statement complaining about the new Eurovision voting system, which gave San Marino a fake “televote” as the microstate was unable to support a real televote.
Later that year, Romeo contemplated taking legal action against either the EBU or 2016 host broadcaster SVT after Serhat was denied the ability to use holograms as part of his staging. Also in 2016, Romeo proposed a new televote system for San Marino, which would use a “people’s jury” in place of the traditional televote.
Following Eurovision 2017, Romeo teased a potential withdrawal from Eurovision, saying “There is no place for micro-states in the Eurovision Song Contest.” In the same year, San Marino again protested the fake televote, this time complaining that San Marino had only given three points to the Italian act — and big fan favourite — Francesco Gabbani.
San Marino had been due to compete at Eurovision 2020 with the Italian singer Senhit performing the disco song “Freaky!”.
What do you think? Should the EBU have postponed Eurovision 2020 instead of cancelling it? Would you like to see Senhit compete in the next contest? Tell us your thoughts below.