The Scoop

ABBA to come back in a virtual show!

This week, the EBU is organizing its first Media Summit, gathering members from the world of Television, Radio and Online media. One of the guest speakers was ABBA’s member Björn Ulvaeus, who spoke up to defend the role of Public Media Service (PSM) and the Eurovision Song Contest. And he also announced that ABBA would be back in a virtual show this year!

A digital tribute show for the world

Before concluding his speech at the EBU Media Summit, and after having talked about the importance of PSM to defend civic and democratif values (especially for the young generations), Björn told his audience. In itself, it was an example of innovative public media actions, which is needed now more than ever.
Thanks to the BBC and BBC Worldwide, ABBA’s members have been scanned to be digitally recreated. The goal is to create a big, virtual tribute show, and BBC Worldwide is currently looking for media partners everywhere in the world to broadcast the project on a global scale.

But the beginning of the speech is as interesting as the conclusion:

“The Eurovision Song Contest is a big deal”

Björn’s career took off and took a global dimension after ABBA’s victory at Eurovision 1974 in Brighton. As such he didn’t forget to mention the contest in his introduction, reminding his audience of how important ESC was. He also defended the idea that Eurovision was a perfect example of the quality and possibilities of PSM.

… and few other shows “make you feel like you are part of Europe”

After Björn’s speech, he and other guests present on stage started a debate, chaired by Madiana Asseraf from the EBU. The ESC came up at a moment, when the group was talking about how to engage people through generations and through decades.
EBU Media Director Jean Philip De Tender considered that EBU was popular with young people (thus giving big market shares to public broadcasters on Eurovision nights). He also spoke about the rest of the Eurovision Family, mainly Eurovision Young Dancers and Eurovision Young Musicians, “staging, giving the floor to young talent”. About Young musicians, De Tender also praised the BBC for making the 2018 edition in Edimburgh a multi-media event:

BBC said, “this is not radio, this is not television, this is not digital, this is all of these”.

Björn also had some things to say, about the Eurovision Song Contest:

Very few show make you feel like you are part of Europe. But this one does. You know, Italy, all those countries out there, are suddently quite close to you.

He wishes that more shows could achieve such feat, making everyone feel more connected and united.
==> You can watch the full speech and debate here, on the EBU’s Facebook page. <==
What do you think? What do you expect from this virtual show? Do you think Eurovision is a good example of PSM done right? Tell us more on the comments below or on social media, at @ESCXTRA!

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