Eurovision is historically one of the most watched programmes of Belarus’ state broadcaster BTRC. In 2019, Google Trends revealed that Eurovision was the most-searched TV programme in the country. However, Eurovision 2021 is currently not listed in the television schedule of the Belarusian broadcaster.
Back in March, Belarus withdrew from Eurovision 2021 after BTRC did not manage to submit an entry in accordance with the contest’s rules. On two occasions, the proposed Belarusian entry was rejected for containing lyrics that brought the contest into dispute.
Eurovision 2021 is not listed in Belarusian TV schedules
Belarusians noted the absence of Eurovision 2021 in BTRC’s programming when several prints published the provisionary television schedule for 17 to 23 May. Although provisionary television schedules are often subject to change, it would be strange if BTRC had accidently excluded its most popular programme.
The television schedule published on BelTA, Belarus’ state press agency, also doesn’t list Eurovision. During the time slot of the Eurovision 2021 grand final, BTRC instead plans to show the first two episodes of the 2018 Russian miniseries Радуга в поднебесье.
Belarusian newspapers Komsomolskaya Pravda and Argumenty i Fakty both stated that if BTRC were to really end up not broadcasting the contest, the only way for Belarusians to watch Eurovision on television is going to be through the international version of Russia’s Channel One.
— wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) March 26, 2021
Since being disqualified from Eurovision 2021, BTRC has ceased reporting about the contest all together. The broadcaster has instead started to focus on the production of their local X Factor and on the arts festival Slavianski Bazaar. On the web site’s page dedicated to Eurovision, BTRC has placed a long statement outlining their dissatisfaction.
Belarus is not the only withdrawing country from Eurovision 2021 who will not broadcast the contest. Armenia bowed out of the contest after events in the country did not give them enough time to prepare an entry. Eurovision 2021 does not appear in the Armenian public broadcaster’s schedules either.
However, countries that withdraw from Eurovision do not always decide to abstain from broadcasting the contest. In 2019, after Ukraine withdrew from Eurovision, both of its broadcasters still decided to broadcast the show. BTRC itself started broadcasting Eurovision as early as 2001, three years before the country first took part.
What do you think? Are you sad that people in Belarus won’t be able to watch Eurovision 2021? Let us know in the comments below!