As more broadcasters reveal their plans for Eurovision 2021, two European broadcasters have confirmed they won’t be competing in Rotterdam. Luxembourg‘s broadcaster RTL has confirmed that the Grand Duchy won’t be returning to Eurovision in 2021, while Liechtenstein‘s 1 FL TV says the microstate won’t make its debut in Rotterdam.
No Benelux special appearance for Luxembourg
Broadcaster RTL Télé Lëtzebuerg confirmed to Eurovision news site ESCToday that they won’t be competing in Eurovision 2021. The broadcaster says they mostly focus on news programmes, rather than music and entertainment. As well, the broadcaster reportedly says that participating in Eurovision would “entail a financial strain”.
The broadcaster gave similar reasons last year when it confirmed it would not compete at Eurovision 2020. Fans had been hoping that with the song contest being hosted in the Benelux region, Luxembourg would make a special comeback appearance.
Luxembourg last competed at Eurovision 1993. Due to changes to the Luxembourg television system, the current EBU member broadcaster RTL Télé Lëtzebuerg — a Luxembourgish news channel — is different to the French and Luxembourgish Télé Luxembourg channel that organised Luxembourg’s Eurovision entries in its 20th-century heyday.
Luxembourg has a larger population than several regular Eurovision competitors, such as Montenegro, Malta, and Iceland. The landlocked country also has a substantial local Eurovision fanbase who would love to see Luxembourg return to Eurovision.
Liechtenstein has a long way to go before a Eurovision debut
Broadcaster 1 FL TV has confirmed that the mountainous microstate will not be debuting at Eurovision 2021. Liechtenstein’s broadcaster is still not a member of the European Broadcasting Union, so would first need to join the EBU in order to participate at Eurovision.
1 FL TV has confirmed to ESCToday that the cost of joining the EBU is a major hurdle. The broadcaster would need subsidies from the Liechtenstein government — or a very generous sponsor — to pay the union’s membership fee — and on top of that would be the Eurovision entry fee and participation costs.
Liechtenstein had been looking to debut at Eurovision 2019, as part of the country’s 300th-anniversary celebrations. Eurovision participation had been the pet project of 1 FL TV’s editor-in-chief Peter Kölbel, who, at the time, said the broadcaster was in negotiations with the EBU.
However, sadly Kölbel passed away in early 2018. After this, the small broadcaster seems to have lost interest in pursuing a Eurovision debut. As well, with the country’s 300th-anniversary having come and gone, there is less reason for the government to fund a one-off Eurovision participation.
So far, 30 countries have provisionally confirmed for Eurovision 2021. Of those, 19 have internally selected their Eurovision 2020 act to again represent their country.
What do you think? Are you sad that these countries won’t be at Eurovision 2021? Does Liechtenstein need to find an alpine Serhat to fund its entry? Tell us your thoughts below!