Back in May Romania’s state broadcaster TVR threatened to withdraw from the Eurovision Song Contest. But on Friday it confirmed that it would, in fact, participate in Eurovision 2023 in the United Kingdom.

As TVR explain in their official press statement, the EBU rules require that participating broadcasters announce their intention to participate by September 15. They can withdraw — without incurring a financial penalty — so long as they formally communicate that to the EBU by October 11.

There had been fears that Romania would withdraw from the contest following its strongly worded statement in May.

As you’ll recall, the EBU threw out the jury votes of Romania and five other countries in Semi-Final 2 and the grand final and alleged that juries in the six countries had agreed to swap votes. In response, TVR accused the EBU of applying its “non-transparent” algorithm unevenly, sanctioning some countries while letting others swap votes without raising suspicions.

During the live broadcast, Executive Supervisor Martin Osterdahl and the hosts suggested that there were “technical difficulties” that prevented certain countries from voting. Conveniently, all the countries affected by this supposed glitch were accused of wrongdoing. It appeared to many that the head of a body committed to media transparency had not, in fact, been transparent. 

In its May statement, Romania also said it was considering legal action against the EBU over, among other things, reputational damage.  

Romania searches for Swiss legal team in dispute with EBU

Friday’s statement from TVR also confirmed that its Board of Directors had given state television a mandate to “contact Swiss law firms” to assess whether it has a chance of winning its ongoing dispute with the European Broadcasting Union. 

It specified that this is related to “the situation created at this year’s edition, when the organizer [EBU] cancelled Romania’s votes.”

According to Eurovision regulations, any dispute is settled under Swiss jurisdiction, since the EBU is based in Geneva. 

Romania’s latest statement doesn’t give any further details about the dispute. However, back in May TVR listed some of its grievances about the EBU’s handling of the voting drama.

“The impact of these suspicions on the competition and on the reputation of the sanctioned [broadcasters] could have been completely eliminated if the EBU had communicated its concerns to the parties involved as soon as they were observed, ie on Wednesday, 11 May, after the second semi-final [jury show].”

“Had the EBU communicated to the delegations the notes given by the jurors of the six countries the day after the vote and convincingly explained the existence of an ‘irregular voting pattern,’ TVR would have had time to react to promptly investigate the allegations and correct the situation, if any.”

“In this way, on Thursday, May 12, we could eliminate any suspicion that hovered over the votes given by the jurors during the second semifinal, and during the gala, for the public, the finalists could be announced based on the notes of the jurors, not on those generated by the ‘algorithm.’”

“However, this would have been possible only if the EBU had treated TVR as a real partner and had taken into account the fact that the Eurovision Regulation is the one that gives full independence to national juries and that televisions can neither find out nor influence the scores. granted by jurors, than long after they were sent to the EBU. Thus, TVR did not find out until after the final the way in which the Romanian jurors voted in the semifinals.”

“Unfortunately, because the EBU decided to send us the relevant information only after seven days, all we could do was ask the Romanian jury for official explanations, “post-factum,” on the vote in the second semifinal. Even in this context, in which we have already been tried and sanctioned, without being given the opportunity to defend ourselves, TVR will collaborate with all other sanctioned televisions to find out if the reported irregularities were the result of an attempted fraud.”

“Another point to note is that the EBU has prevention and control mechanisms. When there is a suspicion of a jury, it may send observers to oversee the voting process. This is what happened this year when the EBU decided to send observers to two of the six sanctioned countries.”

“The conclusion of the observers was that the vote was regular and they did not report any misconduct or attempted fraud. This is one of the reasons why at the beginning of the final audition for the public, the EBU representative announced that all the votes cast by the jurors are valid.”

“In the case of these countries, the organizers did not report “irregular voting patterns.” Moreover, they were given the most points awarded, by “algorithm”, from the countries sanctioned for voting among themselves. Of the six countries accused of having an onerous deal to reach the final, only three succeeded. Of the three countries that received points by “algorithm” from sanctioned countries, all managed to enter the final.”

“The incomprehensible attitude of the EBU towards TVR, a traditional member of this organization, which deserves to be treated with respect, is also underlined by the fact that the Eurovision organizers chose to lie during the transmission of the final results of the competition. When it was Romania’s turn to announce the result of the jury’s vote, the organizers invoked a non-existent technical problem to present the notes provided by the “algorithm.””

“We reiterate what we said in our first statement: there was no technical problem! Eda Marcus was ready to go live, and the connection worked perfectly. The only reason we were forbidden to announce the vote of the Romanian jury, which had awarded 12 points to Moldova, was that we refused to accept the score imposed by the EBU.”

“Following the situation created and the image damage brought to the public television, the TVR representatives consider the withdrawal of Romania from the future editions of Eurovision and the action in court of the event organizers.”

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Esc addict
Esc addict
26 days ago

if the Ebu had acted as soon as there had been suspicions so during esc week everyone would have known about this cheating attempt, and which countries are suspected so no one would have voted for them in the grand final , it would not have been fair for the singers working for months, and the results would have been necessarily biased again more so by doing that they saved the reputation of certain countries and at the same time the integrity of the results towards the competitors, so instead of taking care of the reputation of the contest Tvr… Read more »

Cozmin COZMA
Cozmin COZMA
26 days ago

You are all just understanding whatever you want! I’m not saying TVR and the other five don’t cheated, but I don’t liked how EBU acted! Crystal like these !!!! They had to do something before the final night and NOT giving votes in a “random “ way, ok? Just excluded their votes and that’s it unless…… do you know what I mean? And by the way, some excuses to the poor speakers spoke that were treated without respect! Shame on them, shame on EBU for how they acted………. However these competition is missing something…… a lot, actually! Wake up, EBU!… Read more »

Ron
Ron
27 days ago

Is there any doubt that these 6 countries colluded to vote for each other in a way to exchange points? No, we’ve all seen the “actual” jury vote from these countries and it’s as obvious as day. If Romania moves forward with a lawsuit, then the EBU will have to disclose everything they have, and let’s just say, those 6 countries have a lot to lose! If there is one thing we’ve learned from Martin Osterdahl is that unlike his predecessor, he has no problem with standing up against corruption.

XOOOD
XOOOD
27 days ago

Oh yeah I totally forgot about this, but thanks for TVR for bringing it again so I can laugh at this all over again, like the audacity they have playing the victim when they were caught red handed.

Azuro
Azuro
27 days ago

TVR seems all over the place. One minute it’s there was no corruption, then they say maybe there was, but it was the jurors themselves, not TVR. But then they want the corrupted jury marks reinstated?

Kell.66
Kell.66
27 days ago

The audacity and arrogance of them is unbelievable. They got caught cheating and now they’re playing victim. Should’ve been thrown out the contest

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
27 days ago

Massive coordinated jury froud like romania did this year is a big danger to the continuity of the contest, with many countries possibly withdrawing if the EBU would do nothing to stop it. I wouldn’t be sad to see them leaving if they want to actively fight this decision instead of learning from their mistakes.

EuroTrash Killer
EuroTrash Killer
27 days ago
Reply to  Frisian esc

What fraud?The one the EBU commited to make Ukraine win?

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
27 days ago

You think televoters didn’t vote for ukraine?

Dawid
Dawid
27 days ago
Reply to  Frisian esc

I mean true but nordic countries do it each year and nobody gives a damn

Joe
Joe
27 days ago

They’ll probably just let it go. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole fracas led to the network head getting the chop – TVR wouldn’t have dug this hole so deep if not for him. Just focus on staying in the final now that you’ve made it back. That used to be the rule, not the exception.

Giorgio
Giorgio
27 days ago
Reply to  Joe

*her

Midnight Gold
Midnight Gold
27 days ago

How are TVR gonna sue over reputational damage when there was absolutely no reputation to damage in the first place?

motopapi
motopapi
27 days ago

Though the “aggregate votes” from EBU were pretty sus imo, I’d rather TVR to move on and focus on bringing out a better national selection next year.

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
27 days ago
Reply to  motopapi

There was nothing suspicious about it. + the algorithm based vote wouldn’t even have been brought out if certain countries hadn’t decuded to commit en masse voting fraud together.

motopapi
motopapi
25 days ago
Reply to  Frisian esc

I was there (figure of speech, not literally), when that happened and I’ve got the same explanation over and over. At least try better the next time you defend Osterdahl, please.

Esc addict
Esc addict
28 days ago

It was better to say during the voting sequence,
which is however the Eurovision moment the most watched in the world, that there were technical issues rather than saying that “jurors from this country have tried to cheat but got caught so we had to cancel their own votes and to change them” in front of tens of millions people, it saves a little the image of the country. It remains a lie from Mr Osterdahl for sure and I don’t like that, but it was a lie to save the face of some countries.

EuroTrash Killer
EuroTrash Killer
27 days ago
Reply to  Esc addict

Sure believe that when a Swede is rigging the votes for Sweden.Sure.When Australia Belgium and Sweden put each other in top 3 it did not matter.

Esc addict
Esc addict
27 days ago

Not my point here, go to say that to the Ebu, I was talking about what happened during the voting sequence with Mr Osterdahl and only that.

Dida
Dida
28 days ago

Good! TVR must sue the corupted EBU… How come the usual vote swap between Greece-Cyprus and Serbia-Montenegro were not sanctioned? Shame!

Esc addict
Esc addict
28 days ago
Reply to  Dida

TVR is so clean that it’s an example talking about corruption isn’t it?

Esc addict
Esc addict
28 days ago

Well….

Sir Stevia
Sir Stevia
28 days ago

Bruh

Luke B
Luke B
28 days ago

For goodness sake, TVR, move on. Your juries likely cheated, and nobody’s blaming you for that. OK, maybe the EBU could have been a bit more transparent at the time, but they have to be strict about voting procedures, and there may have been legitimate reasons for not making public the situation earlier. Threatening to sue just because your 12 points didn’t go to your neighbouring country is pathetic in the grand scheme of things. It’s understandable to be upset, but airing your dirty laundry in public, with long-winded statements to the effect of, “See you in court!” do not… Read more »

EuroTrash Killer
EuroTrash Killer
27 days ago
Reply to  Luke B

Do you have proof they cheated?

Luke B
Luke B
27 days ago

I personally don’t, no. But the EBU clearly do. And if you want to get all precise about it, I did say ‘likely cheated’, not ‘defintely cheated’. As an outsider, I recognise that I do not have all the facts, and so allowed for the possibility that the juries may not have in fact cheated, however remote that possibility seems.

Hrvatska
Hrvatska
28 days ago

 I would like Romanian public television to change its approach to Eurovision and take advantage of the very good music market they have and put a song in Romanian, I dream of Delia but these are just my dreams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYriaxf1kBE

James
James
27 days ago
Reply to  Hrvatska

Or Happy. 🙂

nikki
nikki
28 days ago

anyway, hey tvr can we finally have a decent selection process and a song in romanian representing the country next year?

Polegend Godnova
28 days ago

good luck booking that swiss legal team u speak of. and best wishes for next year, hopefully we’ll have a non-controversial selectia nationala for once!