Most would be aware by now that the Eurovision Song Contest is more popular in Australia than in some competing countries even, however this year the contest received its highest viewing figures ever, peaking at 1.028 million on Saturday night for the second semi final, likely driven by the appearance of local Jessica Mauboy as the interval act. Ironically, the final had less viewers overall, however the final is shown on a Sunday night, typically the most competitive viewing time of the week on Australian television.
The contest, which is shown on consecutive nights over the final weekend, achieved a total audience over the entire weekend of 2.7 million, which is a decent effort for a country which is not traditionally a heavy TV watching country with a comparatively small population. The station’s director of television, Tony Iffland said ““SBS has been broadcasting the Eurovision song contest for over 30 years now and I am delighted that this has been our most successful to date”.
However, the Australian interval act sequence, commissioned by SBS and written by some well known Australian talent, has attracted strong criticism for being too kitschy and clichéd, playing on traditional stereotypes of the country, rather than modern day Australian culture.
In addition, the #SBSEurovision hashtag, used by the station for its Eurovision coverage, trended at No.1 on Twitter in Australia across all three nights.