He’s the Head of Entertainment at Germany’s broadcaster NDR. And following the recent EBU Reference Group decision, Thomas Schreiber has now commented on the decision by the EBU to require broadcasters to send new songs to Eurovision 2021. In an exclusive statement given to German Eurovision website ESC Kompakt, he expresses the disappointment that many fans — and broadcasters — have felt with the announcement.
Why has the EBU Reference Group decision led to mixed reactions?
Schreiber said that the EBU’s decision not to allow the Eurovision 2020 songs to be submitted again “wasn’t coordinated with the participating broadcasters”.
He also pointed out that the decision was made despite the fact that there’s no confirmation nor dates set for Eurovision 2021. Besides, given the fluid situation of the pandemic, it may be “wishful thinking” to even stage Eurovision next May.
“First and foremost, huge investments of the 41 participating countries have been destroyed as well as the hopes and dreams of the artists and the Eurovision family,” he said. “The decision of the Reference Group mostly takes into account the economic interests of all participating countries. Consequently, it doesn’t reflect the views of a majority of the countries.”
What will replace Eurovision on May 16?
Schreiber recently hinted at a Eurovision replacement show in May. The German broadcaster is currently figuring out what exactly that might be. Other broadcasters like the BBC have already announced replacement shows for May 16. Schreiber suggested that there could be a joint programme with Dutch colleagues.
In any case, Schreiber did confirm that there will definitely be a programme on Germany’s TV station ARD. Further details are forthcoming as the situation evolves.
What do you think about Thomas Schreiber’s statement? Do you agree with the decision not to allow this year’s songs to compete once more? Tell us your thoughts below!