This week, KAN announced that it has agreed a government loan of €16.5 million (70 million ILS) in order to secure its budget for the contest. The loan will be paid off over the next 15 years, in increments that will prevent the broadcaster from exceeding its yearly budget. The loan was approved despite the CEO of IPBC, Eldad Koblenz, voting against the loan.
KAN, which was only launched a year before Netta’s victory, is the predecessor of the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA). Upon its creation, it was agreed that the government could not make any significant changes to its annual budget as to avoid heavy financial dependence. Due to these legal limitations, KAN was offered a loan rather than a grant to fund the project. For context, the broadcaster had an annual budget of €178 million (747 million ILS) for 2018.
All set for Tel Aviv?
With the loan, the total budget for Eurovision 2019 is expected to reach around €28.5 million (120 million ILS). With an annual budget of almost €1.5 billion, Tel Aviv is financially equipped to host an event of this scale. As such, it is expected that the city of Tel Aviv will finance some of the expenses, including the Eurovision Village.
From ticket sales and sponsorships, KAN estimates a revenue of around €12 million (50 million ILS). This does not include the boost to Israeli tourism the contest will create.
How does this compare to previous budgets?
We previously reported that Portugal’s RTP invested around €20 million in hosting the contest in 2018, resulting in a loss of €4 million. This is not uncommon; hosting the contest often costs the broadcaster more than they make back in return. This is especially apparent as the scale of the contest has increased massively in recent years.
The closest a broadcaster has made to a profit in recent years was back in 2013, when SVT spent €11 million hosting the contest in Malmo and made €10 million back. By contrast, the İctimai Television (İTV) spent around €54 million hosting the 2012 contest in Baku, making only around €8 million in return. This mammoth budget of course included the building of the Crystal Hall, which at least created permanent jobs for over 500 people.
With these figures in mind, it is unsurprising that the CEO of IPBC has reservations about KAN’s ability to pay off the loan following the contest. The board also voiced concerns that the cost of the contest could possibly harm local productions, creative artists and employees. Only time will tell if KAN will make a satisfactory return from this investment. Regardless, the broadcaster is committed to hosting the contest to the best of their ability.
What do you think about the proposed budget? Are you excited to see KAN make its debut as a host broadcaster next year?