Plans for Eurovision Asia are officially dead. While the EBU recently confirmed that the American Song Contest was due to debut in 2022, Australian broadcaster SBS has confirmed that an Asia-Pacific version of the song contest would no longer be going ahead.

Australia’s Head of Delegation Josh Martin confirmed the decision to TV Tonight. He told the website, “I think it’s fair to say we’ve rescinded our rights. We spent a number of years trying to figure out how to do it and then the global pandemic came along.”

He also explained the challenge in putting the contest together in the 21st century, far removed from the original motivation behind the Eurovision Song Contest. He said, “It’s very different to the way Eurovision started post-World War Two, as a means of bringing people together. There was a real purpose in establishing it.”

Josh Martin also explained the geographical difficulties that hosting an Asia-Pacific contest posed. He said, “Eurovision Asia is difficult for a number of reasons: timezones, language barriers, all sorts of issues.”

This seemed to be the biggest hurdle for SBS. Martin said, “We tried so hard but that was one that we just could never quite pin down.”

But Martin explains, this isn’t out of the ordinary for the television industry. He explained, “It’s kind of like any TV show. You put a lot of things into development, and not all of them get up. So that was one that we could not, for whatever reason, make work.”

What was Eurovision Asia all about?

When the concept of Eurovision Asia was announced in March 2016, the excitement was huge. The contest would be another version of our beloved show but set on another continent. Fans immediately made wishlists, from Australia to Kyrgyzstan to Vietnam, hoping all of their favourite stars would participate.

However, it proved to be much less of a rose-coloured dream than anticipated. While the music industry of Asian countries is flourishing as never before, their regional political relations are fraught with difficulties. Since the initial announcement, the contest was delayed several times.

Eurovision Asia: an ambitious but troubled project

The first edition of Eurovision Asia was to be held in 2017, but it quickly appeared that this timeline was not realistic. Political tensions between the biggest potential participating countries were among the reasons why Eurovision Asia was delayed. Skim the surface and you’ll soon think about China’s contentious claims to much of the South China Sea, counter-claims from Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and others, Hong Kong’s evolving relationship with mainland China, Taiwan’s continued conflict with China, and more.

After the release of the EurovisionAsia.tv website and a theme artwork in Summer 2017, it seemed that the contest was finally close to happening. The website soon stopped being updated and no news post has appeared since October 2017.

In 2018, SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid called Eurovision Asia “[his] one big disappointment”. On top of that, he called the contest “too geo-politically difficult”.

In 2019, following rumours that Eurovision Asia would take place in December, SBS confirmed to wiwibloggs that the show was still in development. Later that year, SBS also confirmed that its current Eurovision focus was the national final Australia Decides, not Eurovision Asia.

What do you think? Are you sad Eurovision Asia has been cancelled? Could the format still work? Tell us your thoughts below.

 Read more Eurovision Asia news here

 

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
108 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Milos
Milos
3 months ago

Instead of focusing on expending ESC to other markets, EBU is wasting time with these initiatives which will inevitably flop. Same with the AMricavision

Will
Will
4 months ago

Dudes – Asia actually already has several singing and songwriting contests. Some have come and gone, at least one was around from the 80s and featured many Asian countries. This is not new or exciting to Asians. They’re over it.

Finlay Evans
Finlay Evans
4 months ago

I think that a South East Asiavision could work, with Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore etc, perhaps throw in the pacific island nations too, like Fiji and that would work

La Signora
La Signora
4 months ago

When there’s no love there’s nothing

eurovis.emu
eurovis.emu
4 months ago

hopefully an asian song contest will be back on the cards in another 10 years or so. an east asian competition may be more feasible instead of the whole continent considering time zones and stability atm.

Ivan Ivan
Ivan Ivan
4 months ago

If Asiavision succeed taking off without political interference, i believe South Korean would have won landslide in the first few edition as K-Pop really dominates the music charts here, not to mention the massive fanbase they have. For Example, if South Korea decides to send BTS, their fans will do whatever it takes to support them for the win. Asian people really loves Korean songs despite their lack of proficiency in the language.

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
3 months ago
Reply to  Ivan Ivan

They wouldn’t have to send BTS or Blackpink to win. Their SECOND-TIER groups would have been more than enough to snag a truckload of 12-point scores from the other countries.

Vladimir P.
Vladimir P.
4 months ago

Anyone living in Asia knows how complex everything is here. I am not surprised.

Kristian
Kristian
4 months ago

I’m sad about this but expected it.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
4 months ago

The failure of Eurovision Asia to get off the ground just goes to show what an amazing achievement the ESC was in the 1950s, and still is today.

American Boy
American Boy
4 months ago

Seems like an Asian Song Contest can happen as long as China is not in it!

CyxCy
CyxCy
4 months ago

“So guys, let’s explain to you: Eurovision is a friendly and peaceful competition …
– What did he say?
– A friendly competition …
–  Sorry, I can’t hear anything in the tank.”

Dawid
Dawid
4 months ago

It’s too early for Asia. ESC was introduced to reunite continent AFTER war. In Asia these conflicts are still unresolved.

Last edited 4 months ago by Dawid
James
James
4 months ago
Reply to  Dawid

And yet we have the Asian Games where we get together to compete on friendly terms.

And yes, we were also devastated from not only World War 2 but also colonization.

Oki
Oki
4 months ago

As one from Asia and as much as I am a big Eurovision fan, am so happy this is not happening. Hope it never will.

dfjgnjgnd
dfjgnjgnd
4 months ago

We all knew this was happening

fathan
fathan
4 months ago

when i hear this show concept, i though this is a good idea, but back again with language barrier and other things makes this concept just a concept not a real thing…. so sad to hear that

ESCFanGA
ESCFanGA
4 months ago

I imagine the same thing will happen to the American Song Contest

dfjgnjgnd
dfjgnjgnd
4 months ago
Reply to  ESCFanGA

It already got picked up by a network. Maybe it’ll get canceled, but the first year is happening.

Whisker
Whisker
4 months ago

They spent how many years on this?

Martin Månsson
Martin Månsson
4 months ago

Soooooo… they should start WWIII, become all war-torn and when they finally rise from the ashes they’ll bring people together in Asiavision. No need to thank me.

Sot
Sot
4 months ago

We need you as the President of the UN

Hello_123
Hello_123
4 months ago

Geopolitical factors were probably the biggest hurdle. They would have wanted (nearly) every major country to be involved. However, given the political landscape, it can be tough to put countries like China, India, Japan and Pakistan in a friendly competition.

I can also see how timezones are a major issue, the difference between Australia and West-Asian countries can be up to 6 hours. Such a shame tough, the Asian music industry is so interesting.

Boreal
Boreal
4 months ago

In the end, it doesn’t really matter

Nils
Nils
4 months ago
Reply to  Boreal

but they tried so hard and got so far

Last edited 4 months ago by Nils
Boreal
Boreal
4 months ago
Reply to  Nils

:D))))

Last edited 4 months ago by Boreal
Kim
Kim
4 months ago

With nations like Samoa and Australia tearing up contracts with China and China flexing their muscles over other nations in The Asia Pacific region and just generally trying to control other nations through investing in their infrastructure and placing extreme tariffs on imports ( we will build you a new road but you must do and agree with what we say) it was never going to be easy to have an Asia vision. China has made too many enemies in the past and their controlling behaviour and just out and out invasion lately of other Asian nations land and claiming… Read more »

esc_fl
esc_fl
4 months ago
Reply to  Kim

I do agree that the situation in Asia is markedly difficult than that in Eurovision. While I would love to gain a beautiful exposure to new cultures and languages like I have in Eurovision, I’m pretty sure that the political situation would make the controversies here look like they’re following the rules. Maybe one of the warning signs was when China was banned from broadcasting Eurovision. China already exerts too much influence as you said, and some Central Asian and Middle Eastern countries have had their share of issues as well. Hopefully the conflict clears up more (really doubtful though);… Read more »

esc_fl
esc_fl
4 months ago
Reply to  Kim

In the meantime while Kazakhstan might not be able to do Asiavision, please join ESC soon!

Erik
Erik
4 months ago
Reply to  Kim

China wants world domination so they are actually everywhere. In your home speakers and in your mobile app. The one party dictatorship controls every Chinese company and has unlimited access and control if they wish.

I hope they were never thought to be included in this.

Nils
Nils
4 months ago

Sad, but not very surprising news. Would have been nice to see it work out, but I always very skeptical it would ever happen.

I might be wrong, but I suppose NBC won’t like these news either.

Sot
Sot
4 months ago

I’m really sorry to all the Asians but an Asian Eurovision (Asiavision I guess) would be a terrible idea… Let alone the time zones, literally Middle East is on fire and, even if these countries do not participate, I don’t think most of the Asian countries are able to host Eurovision and it would be boring if it was held every year in Japan, South Korea or Australia

Kim
Kim
4 months ago
Reply to  Sot

Everyone pretty much has a beef with China except the North Koreans or China has a issue with them or they are trying to control that nation by bullying and blackmail.if they weren’t invited they would try to wreck it somehow either by hacking the results or with fake media ( as they did with the picture they doctored about an Aussie soldier in Afghanistan that was holding an Afghan child but they doctored the picture to look like the soldier was beheading the child and placed it on social media claiming this is what Aussie soldiers do in Afghanistan.)

James
James
4 months ago
Reply to  Sot

It doesn’t have to involve the entirety of APAC as the scope can start with just East and Southeast Asia + India or Sri Lanka. Realistically, it’s getting broadcasters involved that may have been the difficult part of getting this off the ground. Looking back at past formats like TAR Asia, Asia’s Next Top Model and Asia’s Got Talent (as I’ve cited below), these shows were able to get a lot of people from different parts of the continent involved without issue, save for the usual logistical issues regarding casting. Another is that these shows were carried by a single… Read more »

Joey
Joey
4 months ago

“It’s very different to the way Eurovision started post-World War Two, as a means of bringing people together. There was a real purpose in establishing it.”

As if there’s a real purpose in establishing the contest in the USA…

Kelly Cohen
Kelly Cohen
4 months ago

I am truly gutted by this news. Despite SBS officially pulling the plug on the idea and citing political tensions across the region, I personally still believe in the feasibility of the concept because of the parallels I see between how the ESC was established and what has been happening in the last few years. Maybe the team behind ESC/EBU will leave the door open for the optimal opportunity to present itself in the future. Until then, who knows?

Wayne
Wayne
4 months ago

I wish they would start small like just 10 countries then expand yearly. If anyone doesn’t know, most Asian wide competitions here in Asia revolve around just a number of countries mainly ASEAN countries + others

Ezra
Ezra
4 months ago

Ofc it won’t work. I’m Asian and most Asian are too patriotic and will do everything to make sure their country win. There was once Asian Idol competition. The favorites were Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines, however Singapore won the contest and everyone shocked. It turned out every country voted for less populated countries and who were less likely to win. The contest was scrapped completely because they couldnt find the perfect format to prevent this disaster to happen again.

James
James
4 months ago
Reply to  Ezra

Asian Idol was meant as a one-off competition similar to the one-and-done World Idol (which brought together Will Young, Kelly Clarkson and Guy Sebastian) because the logistics involving getting past winners of their home country’s version was not sustainable. The winner of Kazakh Idol was even supposed to take part but the country had to withdraw. As far as I recall, viewers at home are allowed to vote for two acts, one for their home representative, the other for another country’s singer. That was the only way to allow some level of fairness and was meant to be a celebratory… Read more »

notyourtoy
notyourtoy
4 months ago

Just they needto remember how Eurovision started. Back in 1950s some few countries in central-western Europe decided to have a musical contest so that they unite after the devastating WWII. And as time passed more countries joined until 2018 when we saw 43 countries competing! I don’t think that any other version could work right know sadly cause it’s hard to ”survive” actually. Especially in Asia there is a big problem because of the timezone differences and mostly about political issues in Middle East and South Asia. So we would end up having countries like Kazakhstan, Mongolia, South Korea, Japan… Read more »

Roelof M
Roelof M
4 months ago

Even tho I wasn’t a fan of Eurovision Asia either, I think it would have had a million times more “heart and soul” than the American Eurovision will have. I can’t WAIT for that trainwreck to get axed after 1 season/ year/ edition.

Aris Odi
Aris Odi
4 months ago

Maybe they could try to make a Oceaniavision instead or something, although I guess it would be dominated by Australia and New Zealand

Nils
Nils
4 months ago
Reply to  Aris Odi

And it would have to be those two who’d have to pay for all the expenses, too. So … yeah, I don’t think they’d ever even consider anything like that.

Preuss
Preuss
4 months ago

Can’t say I’m very surprised. Though, maybe SBS should focus on getting their artists across the pond to compete and get enough money so their artists don’t have to fund their own entries, no? Just a thought

Jamie
Jamie
4 months ago

Instead of creating these new projects that are bound to fail, they should just invite new countries to Eurovision.

Nils
Nils
4 months ago
Reply to  Jamie

Yes! Exactly my thoughts! Whenever there are less than 46 participating countries, just invite a few – regularly changing – guest countries from all over the world. Of course they’d have to pay their entry fee and qualify through the semis.

But first of all, the EBU should finally invite Kazakhstan after all and get Bosnia and Hercegovina, Luxembourg, Andorra, Slovakia, Hungary, Montenegro, Monaco and Morocco back on board.

Last edited 4 months ago by Nils
Marion
4 months ago
Reply to  Nils

This!!!

Erik
Erik
4 months ago
Reply to  Nils

There could be a eurovision week with room for four or five semis with a final on the Saturday. Aaaaand no pre-qualified acts except for the host county

Jamie
Jamie
4 months ago
Reply to  Jamie

Why is this so downvoted lmao I thought fans hated Eurovision spin-offs.

Sot
Sot
4 months ago
Reply to  Jamie

I guess most of the article’s visitors are Asian people

Nils
Nils
4 months ago
Reply to  Jamie

I’m afraid most Europeans on here don’t want anyone else to join in on their fun, yet also don’t want Asians or Americans to have their own shot at creating something like Eurovision. But don’t ask me why, ’cause I really don’t understand those people at all.

shin
shin
4 months ago

one thing is sure, if it did take place, there would hardly be any neighbor voting. nobody likes their neighbors there lol ( im indian lol ) . culturally speaking, there is humungous diversity but its hard to work it out with so many countries and it would have definitely been political one way or the other.

Zander25
Zander25
4 months ago

As an Asian I foresee it is really impossible to make this work. Asia is divided by regions, with unique culture, language, not multilingual by default, others are not proficient with English and Asia too political to make a so called friendly contest.

James
James
4 months ago
Reply to  Zander25

The Amazing Race Asia and Asia’s Next Top Model beg to differ.

Ezra
Ezra
4 months ago
Reply to  James

Well, despite the “Asia” label, most contestants from both contests are from South East Asia which has less political tension (internet trolls dont count) than other regions.

James
James
4 months ago
Reply to  Ezra

AXN Asia covers Japan, East Asia, India and Southeast Asia so much of the teasm per season have been from there, but the locations have always been from all around the continent, provided the guarantees of safety in securing said locales.

If you were watching AGT, we had contestants coming as far as Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia.

sTommie
sTommie
4 months ago

Eurovision can exist because of it’s 65 year old past. Pretty sure it would also be impossible to start a competition with 40 countries from scratch in Europe.

Graph
Graph
4 months ago

Well, I understand that failed endeavors are always frustrating to those involved, but a project with the name “Eurovision Asia” is not destined to succeed.

Nils
Nils
4 months ago
Reply to  Graph

That name was really stupid in the first place. Other than that, it could have been brilliant.

Fast Food Music Lover
Fast Food Music Lover
4 months ago

I think the main problem is they were being too ambitious. Starting with a regional song contest similar to Turkvision first before expanding to include other countries would’ve been a better plan.

Sad that the plan was axed but I’m confident in a few years someone else will pick up the mantle and bring Asiavision to life. The potential is too big to ignore.

Last edited 4 months ago by Fast Food Music Lover
Alex
Alex
4 months ago

*Pretends to be shocked*

Erik
Erik
4 months ago

History. Context. There were wars in Europe and we then started to reunite and come together as a continent. There are many factors contributing to the success of the show. For one there was not the same kind of competition when it comes to broadcasters and music shows on tv. There are of course tons of other explanation. I get it Australia wants to participate in ESC because of it’s European history. I’m just not sure Asia has the same kind of context. WHY would they want their own Eurovision? Would there be a gap to fill? Globalisation has made… Read more »

Azaad
Azaad
4 months ago

This was predictable TBH.

58 Points (JE)
4 months ago

As soon as the EBU tried to organise this with SBS Australia at the centre, it was doomed to fail. Had they gone with an actual Asian public broadcaster it might’ve got off the ground–but even then the cultural politics in the region would’ve been rather vexatious.

Luc
Luc
4 months ago

It sounded like a fantastic idea, it’s such a shame it didn’t see the light, though the comments below helped me to understand this issue.
On the other hand, I’m still hoping for an OTI festival revival, mostly because I wonder how would it go: I mean, I see Mexico, Colombia, Puerto Rico and maybe Argentina and the US being the powerhouses as it used to be.

Last edited 4 months ago by Luc
blahh
blahh
4 months ago

I still think just esc is enough
i hope they ditch eurovision america just as quick.

Kirby
Kirby
4 months ago
Reply to  blahh

Ditto! I think it cheapens Eurovision.

Charli Cheer Up
Charli Cheer Up
4 months ago

That’s a shame. I read somewhere that there used to be a contest similar to ESC that ran around the 80s called Tokyo Music Festival. Even Gloria Estefan won there. Maybe the ESC Asia staff can focus on reviving that instead albeit in a lighter and more affordable format, perhaps have it held in Australia? lol better het have an Australiavision like what the US is doing.

Ern
Ern
4 months ago

I predict the American version of Eurovision will go even quicker.

Chessguy99
4 months ago
Reply to  Ern

Different circumstances. You’re dealing with one broadcaster. The time it’s scheduled is historically a dead zone for television, regular series are on hiatus until the new year. Interesting special programming works at that time of year. If the shows are entertaining, the hosts selection will be very important, it will draw an audience.

James
James
4 months ago
Reply to  Chessguy99

It could as well go the way of The Sing-Off, a singing competition involving acapella choir/vocal groups that aired on the network. NBC placed it on a December timeslot and proved to be quite successful and lasted through 5 seasons.

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
4 months ago

A lot of us knew it was coming.

The virus was quite likely the ultimate death blow.

Rifki
Rifki
4 months ago

-looks like SBS doesn’t want to start with low number of countries. it doesn’t have to start with 35++ countries in the first edition. they can start with around 10 or 12 countries in the first edition, and then they slowly can add two or three countries every following edition. -timezones: well, this could be resolved by not using televoting in the first edition (only juries) so that every participating country can broadcast it in their own timezone. -language barrier: well, it also happens in Eurovision, doesn’t it? -also, if SBS doesn’t want to do it, well, just give the… Read more »

John
John
4 months ago

Perhaps the scope was too ambitious. Maybe if they started just with the ASEAN countries + Aust/NZ to begin with — to get it going for a few years. That would restrict the time zone differences to just 4-5. And also eliminate some political issues around China participation and any Middle East countries that would have morality issues.

PP77
PP77
4 months ago

Because they want to participate in Eurovision forever not olnly to 2023.

Melissa J
Melissa J
4 months ago

I think of either of the spin offs (American and Asia) this one would’ve have been the more successful, as it keeps the original spirit of bringing different countries and cultures together, What a disappointment, but it makes sense.