Photo: EBU / NATHAN REINDS

Kazakhstan proudly broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest starting in 2010. But this year broadcaster Khabar Agency dropped Eurovision from its lineup after a 12-year run.

When Khabar Agency became an Associate Member of the EBU in 2016, fans hoped that the Central Asian nation would join the contest in 2017. This didn’t happen, but the interest in Eurovision from the Kazakhs grew and grew. After their Junior Eurovision participation in 2020, Khabar hinted that they would like to compete in the adult Eurovision. 

Alas, this hasn’t happened and the EBU didn’t invite them to Turin.

Kazakhstan did not broadcast Eurovision 2022 

Many were surprised that Kazakhstan chose not to broadcast the song contest this year. The broadcaster kept quiet on the matter, but eventually released a statement on Instagram.

“We came to this decision because the show has very low ratings. In addition, Kazakhstan has no right to send the country’s singers to the competition, and license fees must be paid for such a large-scale event. Also, the online broadcast time of the contest is inconvenient for domestic viewers – the contest will be held at night in our time.”

 
 
 
 
 
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That all makes sense. The contest starts at 1:00 in the country’s capital Nur-Sultan. That means the results of the grand final don’t finish until around 5:00. It’s not exactly a family-friendly viewing time.

Even so, Kazakhstan has said it intends to participate in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest this Autumn in Yerevan. 

 

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Evald
Evald
19 days ago

I doubt that Kazakhstan will join the contest at all. There are simply too many factors that will prevent them. First, the show is airing in the middle of the night which is probably why it’s such a low viewing figure. Second, the country’s population isnt as interested as other countries in europe. Thirdly, they dont even have a telephone line, which makes it impossible for them to join the adult contest. Fourthly, they are not EBU members and out of the EBU broadcasting zone. The only way for them to join is through an invitation which has only happend… Read more »

DosAli17
DosAli17
6 months ago

I am from Kazakhstan, and well, I’ve read so many comments about this case. First of, this is not because of the political state b/n Ukraine and Russia, yes our president met with Pu*in recently, but we never said that we support this invasion. Every day we see and hear horrible scenes and news from Ukraine on our national chanels, including Khabar. Every day millions of Kazakh pray for Ukraine. And we happy that Ukraine won the Eurovision 2022. Second of all, Kazakhstan is really interested in participation in an adult ESC, for us it’s like a big step of… Read more »

Jonas
Jonas
6 months ago
Reply to  DosAli17

Thank you.

Fast Food Music Lover
Fast Food Music Lover
6 months ago
Reply to  DosAli17

Please do not settle for just JESC. Kazakhstan has every right to be in Eurovision and those who say otherwise are prejudice towards your country.

Jonas
Jonas
6 months ago

No. Kazakhstan does not have the right to be in the contest – they are not members of the EBU.

Kåre Eriksen
Kåre Eriksen
6 months ago

Well obviously. I still don’t know why Eurovision cannot start ONE hour earlier. Even 9 pm is too much for us in the CET

Annie
Annie
6 months ago
Reply to  Kåre Eriksen

that would mean the contest starting in the middle of the afternoon in Iceland

Vikitoria
Vikitoria
6 months ago

ADD THE OTHER BALKANS+THE MINI COUNTRIES+SOME NORTH AFRICA COUNTRIES

Im so fab
Im so fab
6 months ago

Kazakhstan has a small percentage of land in the European continent, which is still larger than Israel and Australia which have 0% of European land.

Kazakhstan wanted to join, EBU refused it for some reason. Enjoy the boycott, EBU…

ESC Commentator
ESC Commentator
6 months ago

Of course they didnt want to broadcast it and showing Ukraine’s win as Russia’s strong political ally. Especially after the anty-regime street protest earlier this year that would be risky for the Kazakh authorities. With all my respect to Kazakhstan I am not sure it’s a good idea to bring another such country to the contest… (Azerbaijan’s case)

EU Peace, Man!
EU Peace, Man!
6 months ago

Your message is nothing but civilisationally biased, man. Kazakhstan is more like Ukraine fifteen years ago. Kazakh people go streets for freedom. Why would you want to punish them? What makes them “such a country” or “one of the countries like that”? It’s like wishing to exclude Ukraine from Eurovision. I mean, my feelings are the same for Belarus. Belarusian people went on streets with their white and red flags, hoping for a more democratic future. Their past Eurovision participants like VAL have supported these protests. Yet we have banned them from Eurovision. It makes me sad that those “silent… Read more »

PP77
PP77
6 months ago

Keep Kazahstan, Kosovo , I hope from 2023 Australia out of Eurovision

Jghtl
6 months ago
Reply to  PP77

Kosovo isn’t independent

Jghtl
6 months ago
Reply to  PP77

So they can’t participate even if they wanted to, and about Australia I hope they stay

Pearli
Pearli
6 months ago
Reply to  PP77

You have been a hater for Australia since I joined here in 2015. I’m wondering what has that country done to you personally.

Pauly
Pauly
6 months ago

then why did they want to participate in Eurovision if the time is very inconvenient for them?

ete sech
ete sech
6 months ago
Reply to  Pauly

The time’s inconvenient for everyone in Eastern Europe too though

Gekko
Gekko
6 months ago

I want Eurovision to start at 8PM CET. It is always difficult for eastern Europeans to watch a 4 hours long show which starts at 10PM and the voting segment is in the night

Tomi
Tomi
6 months ago

“…the show has very low ratings… …the online broadcast time of the contest is inconvenient for domestic viewers… …the contest will be held at night in our time.”

And they are only discovering this now? After having broadcast the contest 12x? And after Russia & Belarus were suspended? And after Russia decided to invade Ukraine?

random russian guy
random russian guy
6 months ago
Reply to  Tomi

Maybe most viewers were Russians or Russian-speaking. There are a lot of Russians in KZ (1/4 of the population). Probably they expected lower ratings this year.

Thallo
Thallo
6 months ago

Yet another reason why Kazakhstan shouldn’t join Eurovision: they have no interest.

I really hope the EBU focuses on getting Luxembourg, Andorra, Slovakia, Hungary and Bosnia back into the competition though. For Eurovision to succeed, it needs to be strong at its core, meaning that all European countries should participate before we venture abroad for new countries to join.

EU Peace, Man!
EU Peace, Man!
6 months ago
Reply to  Thallo

Turkey, too.

Clara
Clara
6 months ago
Reply to  EU Peace, Man!

Shekerim is the only Turkish word I know, thanks to Eurovision 😀

Vivian
Vivian
6 months ago
Reply to  Thallo

I think many of those have simply no interest in returning, or in Bosnia’s case they lack the necessary funds. I’d almost go and say Eurovision already has every interested nation under its belt (that is of course, excluding aforementioned Bosnia, as well as Belarus and Russia due to their suspensions)

But yeah, I do hope to see the old competitors return once more. Perhaps when Monaco’s new broadcaster is all set, maybe we’ll see Monaco make a comeback in a future year?

Gaga
Gaga
6 months ago

My suspicion is Erdogan’s influence is the key factor. Turkey dropped it years ago and Kazakhstan is currently strengthening ties with Turkey. We may see an analogue to the contest among these countries soon. I wish they all were in ESC (Kazakh singers are terrific and Turkey is missed, too), but that’s the sad reality.

PP77
PP77
6 months ago
Reply to  Gaga

No way. If he had influence it would be Azerbaijan.

ete sech
ete sech
6 months ago

I’m torn, like anybody else I’d like to see new countries at ESC and Kazakhstan has been eager about Eurovision for years, but it’s a dictatorship and I feel like having them in the contest would double the issues EBU isn’t handling properly with the likes of Azerbaijan

Jonas
Jonas
6 months ago

Hm, does nobody else smell a connection to Russia?

Kazakhstan are helping Putin dodge sanctions. I believe the reason they didn’t show this is because it was obvious that Ukraine might win.

Jonas
Jonas
6 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Maybe it’s just lazy paranoia on my part, but I imagine that Vlad would not be too happy with them staying in when he was thrown out. Do broadcasters really fight for ratings in the middle of the night?

ete sech
ete sech
6 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

It would look like that at first, but Kazakhstan refused to support Russia at all and has been explicitly against it since the Ukraine war

Jonas
Jonas
6 months ago
Reply to  ete sech

The president of Kazakhstan met with Putin in Moscow only five days ago. Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus was also at the table. A fine time was had by all.

ete sech
ete sech
6 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

I mean, of course he’s got commitments bc Russia saved him from being toppled earlier this year, but the guy literally has refused to help Putin in the war and has appointed “russophobic” (I’ll call them that way just for the lack of a better word) guys to his cabinet and all in all he’s been pretty anti Russian, that’s what I meant. The guy isn’t a Russian regent like Lukashenko.

Tomi
Tomi
6 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

I think you are absolutely right, Jonas.

Fast Food Music Lover
Fast Food Music Lover
6 months ago

Devastated. I really want to see Kazakhstan in Eurovision. Not airing the show is definitely going to make their chance for debuting on the show slimmer.

MaryFT
MaryFT
6 months ago

Why would want another dictatorship that doesn’t share the European values in Eurovision? So we can double the issues that we are having with Azerbaijan?

Fast Food Music Lover
Fast Food Music Lover
6 months ago
Reply to  MaryFT

I thought inclusivity and diversity is part of European values?

Jonas
Jonas
6 months ago

Is it part of Kazakhstan’s values?

MaryFT
MaryFT
6 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

On point. People should really read some news before starting cheering for new countries to come in. Yes, Eurovision is about diversity and inclusion so we shouldn’t allow countries that don’t understand the concepts. And it’s about peace and democracy, something Kazakhstan is clearly not interest in – just search for Bloody January 2022.

Fast Food Music Lover
Fast Food Music Lover
6 months ago
Reply to  MaryFT

I do read the news. I just don’t realised those things are important and part of the conditions to participate in Eurovision.

A lot of countries are threatening withdrawal. If less than 40 countries participate next year and Kazakhstan requests to join, it will be interesting to see what sort of excuse EBU is going to give them.

Halblenstein
Halblenstein
6 months ago

What diversity brings to the contest Azerbaijan? Swedish melfest rejects? For freaking 13 years in a row.

Vivian
Vivian
6 months ago

It’s unfortunate that their time zone is so nasty when trying to watch Eurovision live, otherwise they probably would’ve joined in a while ago. Still, maybe if the contest were to be broadcasted a little earlier in the evening, maybe that’d make space for Kazakhstan to actually compete and watch without it going extremely late. That’d be a big step though, and of course it wouldn’t be possible without the EBU as well as the other competing countries’ consent

noone
noone
6 months ago

I wouldn’t mind them debuting, now that Russia and Belarus are out. But how would Kazakh people react to performances like Achille Lauro? Wouldn’t that be a big problem?

WannaEatMySpaghetti
WannaEatMySpaghetti
6 months ago

Event though I’d love to see there culture in ESC, I’m happy they don’t join. EBU is already struggling to control cheating countries and limit political intervention in the competition. If we invite Kazakhstan we know that this is an open door to more problems.

Some people will dislike this comment but you know I speak the truth there.

PURRRRRRR
PURRRRRRR
6 months ago

What we need is another corrupt country in the contest i think

Nils
Nils
6 months ago
Reply to  PURRRRRRR

You can’t call them corrupt before they even participated, though.

Jonas
Jonas
6 months ago
Reply to  Nils

On a larger scale you can.

Xxx
Xxx
6 months ago

Now that Russia is out, i wouldn’t mind them to join.

Halblenstein
Halblenstein
6 months ago
Reply to  Xxx

I’d rather have Libanon return to the ESC.
Anyway it’s clear, the lack of interest and timing are the biggest issues. So bye bye Kazakhstan. They are totally home in the Turkivizion contest along with their totalitarian asian brothers turks and azerbaijanis.

Clara
Clara
6 months ago
Reply to  Halblenstein

And Morocco. I feel curious as to what kind of entries they’d send if they came back.

Sale
Sale
6 months ago

Let Kazahstan debut!!

Halblenstein
Halblenstein
6 months ago
Reply to  Sale

They were pretty clear. People wont watch it through the night.

Safiya
Safiya
6 months ago

That’s a shame but I also understand their position… I would still love to see new countries in Eurovision!

Halblenstein
Halblenstein
6 months ago
Reply to  Safiya

Well, we have enough of European ones. Scotland, Luxemburg, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Bosnia etc. Some eastern flavor can be delivered by Cyprus, Greek, Armenia, Georgia, Israel. Lebanon might one day join ESC as well.

Clara
Clara
6 months ago
Reply to  Halblenstein

I agree that we should work on bringing old contestants back before expanding. I miss Andorra and Luxembourg, they used to send interesting songs.

Robbie
Robbie
1 month ago
Reply to  Halblenstein

Scotland can’t compete as a separate country as they’re part of the UK. and the BBC hold the rights currently. If/when they gain independence then they’d be able to enter as long as one of their broadcasters were a member of the EBU.