Lisbon 2018

Ireland’s RTÉ reveals: we spent €300,000 on Ryan O’Shaughnessy’s Eurovision entry

And the broadcaster refuses to reveal how much was spent on performers directly...

The Irish broadcaster, RTÉ, sent a team of 18 people to Lisbon for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. This includes Ireland’s representative, Ryan O’Shaughnessy, who managed to break Ireland’s streak of poor results – it was their first final since 2013! After The Irish Sun made a Freedom of Information request, RTÉ have revealed exactly how much their participation in this year’s Eurovision cost…

A total of €304,088. Tips not included.

RTÉ’s total costs for their Eurovision 2018 entry was €304,088. However, in their breakdown of the costs, there is a missing €126,309. See the full breakdown below:

  • EBU Participation Fee – €83,861
  • Accommodation – €42,355
  • Production costs (props, set design, pyrotechnics, etc) – €27,190
  • Food and subsistence – €13,632
  • Flights (economy class) – €8,483
  • ‘Representation’ bill – €1,594
  • Airport parking and taxis – €663

This gives a total of €177,779. So where did this extra €126,309 go? It was payment given to the performers on stage in Lisbon, such as Ryan O’Shaughnessy himself. Although we can clearly see how much was given to the performers in total, RTÉ refuse to reveal how much was given to each performer as they are “independent contractors” and the information is “commercially sensitive”.

If further costs were released, it could result in material loss to the artists (performers) and could discourage them, and other artists (performers), from seeking to work with RTÉ

A relatively cheap participation

The €300,000 bill is actually a reduction on costs from previous years. 2017’s Brendan Murray left RTÉ’s wallet feeling €331,000 lighter with his hot-air balloon, whilst Nicky Byrne’s Sunlight burned up €337,000 in 2016.
On first sight, the cost may seem rather shocking, but RTÉ are happy with the investment:

The Eurovision Song Contest provided seven and a half hours of live entertainment content – broken down the cost per hour was €44,197 – which by TV production standards represent very good value for money.

An average of 416,000 people watched the three live shows this year, representing a 34% audience share. This is a significant increase from last year’s average of just 273,000 viewers per show!

Who was in the 18-person Irish delegation?

From what we can tell, the Irish delegation was made up of the following 18 people:

  • Ryan O’Shaughnessy
  • Alan McGrath (dancer)
  • Kevin O’Dwyer (dancer)
  • Mark Caplice (songwriter)
  • Laura Elizabeth Hughes (songwriter)
  • Claire-Ann Varley (backing vocalist)
  • Janet Grogan (backing vocalist)
  • Remy Naidoo (backing vocalist)
  • Michael Kealy (Head of Delegation)
  • Marty Whelan (commentator)
  • Rayna Connery (Head of Press)
  • A tour manager
  • A stylist
  • A choreographer
  • A sound engineer
  • A vocal coach
  • A broadcast co-ordinator
  • A photographer

What are your thoughts on this? Has Eurovision become too expensive? Do you think a winning entry costs more than the Irish put in to the contest?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and on social media @ESCXTRA

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