A few moments ago reports have surfaced that Israel might be on the verge of giving up the right to host the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel in 2019.
The €12 Million Deposit Debacle
In order to guarantee the hosting of the contest in Israel, IPBC must deposit a €12 Million deposit into a bank account in Switzerland. The first deadline to get the deposit to EBU has passed, but luckily enough, they were given an extension until the 14th August. However, there is a possibility that IPBC will not be able to gather enough funds to give the deposit to the EBU.
IPBC has appealed to the Prime Minister for a quick solution
Gil Omer (who is the chairman of the public broadcaster) has written to Prime Minister for assistance in regards to the situation, in which he has mentioned the following:
“In two days, the Israel Broadcasting Corporation is required to provide a guarantee in the amount of € 12 million to ensure the existence of the Eurovision 2019 competition in Israel. This is a point of no return, after which, if the guarantee is not provided as required by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) It will not be possible to change the situation that will arise and the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 will not be able to exist in Israel.
For the past two weeks, I have been making great efforts to inform the decision makers of the obstacles we face in order to make every effort to resolve them.” In various letters I sent during this period, I noted that we see great importance in the competition in Israel, Both from the image and the economic point of view. “Unfortunately, our repeated requests for intensive work to solve the major problems that stand in the way of competition in Israel have not been answered.”
The reports also mention that the finance minister has refused to loan the guarantee to IPBC. They have also mentioned that if it the guarantee comes out of IPBC’s budget it will have to cut 200 jobs or face cutbacks on the television production the broadcaster does.
Omer ended his letter to the prime minister as follows:
“Unfortunately, if the above issues are not resolved, we will have to announce with great regret and pain to the European Broadcasting Union on Tuesday, 2018.8.14 that we are forced to waive the right to host the competition in Israel.”
Representatives from the broadcaster had a meeting with the finance minister, where they have mentioned that it would cost around 150 Million Israeli New Shekels to host the competition. 50 Million Israeli New Shekels in income, whilst hosting the competition will cost the taxpayers around 100 Million Israeli New Shekels.
Do you think that Israel will still end up hosting the contest in the end?. Will it be able to come up with the money to give to the EBU on time?. Let us know your opinions and thoughts below or on social media @ESCXTRA.