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Bosnia & Herzegovina’s “primary goal” is Eurovision comeback but 2020 return “difficult”

Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Eurovision head of delegation has revealed that broadcaster BHRT’s “primary goal” is to return to the Eurovision Song Contest. Nevertheless, continued “poor financial management” at the Bosnian broadcaster suggests a return to the contest in 2020 looks “difficult”.

Desire to return to “great music competition”

In comments published by Bosnian media outlet, BHRT’s Eurovision head of delegation, Lejla Babović, explains that is it the “primary goal” for BHRT to return to “this great music competition” and join with the “European family of musicians”. Unfortunately, it seems a return is far from imminent. Indeed, a return in 2020 seems “difficult”.

The return of Bosnia & Herzegovina to Eurovision depends mainly on finance. For example, it depends on how BHRT operates and whether they will be able to pay back their debts to the EBU. When we find the money and start to pay off debt, then we can talk with the EBU about a possible return to Eurovision. So at best we can be back in 2020, but due to the fact that BHRT is still in trouble and that very few people have paid any fees, it will be difficult to go.

Lejla Babović

Changes needed to Bosnian legislation

In order to clear these debts, Babović suggests that changes to Bosnian law regarding public broadcasting funding and budgets must be considered:

The situation is clear, Bosnia & Herzegovina returns to the Eurovision Song Contest when debts are resolved and when they resolve the issue of funding public services in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since June 2016, the law has not resolved the issue of financing. Therefore, the broadcasting service must first find a model of an efficient collection of media fees, which could at some point result in positive and profitable business and, therefore, the inclusion of Eurovision Song Contest in the annual plans.

Lejla Babović

300,000 euros needed to be “competitive”

Additionally, Babović estimates the need for between 250,000 and 300,000 euros in order to participate at the Eurovision Song Contest at a “competitive” level. The current financial situation at BHRT makes such funding “impossible”, with no other companies willing to sponsor participation:

Successful businesses and companies have no great interest to support sending a Bosnia & Herzegovinian entry to Eurovision. I have to admit that the full burden of sending Bosnia & Herzegovina to previous Eurovision Song Contests hit BHRT and I think it is needless to say that we are not able to take part at the moment due to the extremely poor financial operations. Also, BHRT is under sanctions by the EBU because of debt amounting to six million Swiss francs.

Lejla Babović

A successful 25 years

Bosnia & Herzegovina last participated at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2016. Ljubav je performed by Dalal & Deen featuring Ana Rucner and Jala placed 11th in its semi-final. Thus, Bosnia & Herzegovina failed to qualify for the Eurovision final for the first time in their history. 

The nation’s best result was achieved in 2006 when Hari Mata Hari finished in third place with Lejla. Furthermore, Bosnia & Herzegovina’s last appearance in a Eurovision final came in 2012, courtesy of MayaSar and Korake ti znam.

Ryan Cobb

My first memory of watching the Eurovision Song Contest was back in 2001 and, over the years, my passion and enthusiasm for the contest has very much turned into an obsession. I adore music and I love geography, so this contest is a natural fit for me. If la la loving Eurovision was a crime, I'd certainly be a criminal!

Comments on Bosnia & Herzegovina’s “primary goal” is Eurovision comeback but 2020 return “difficult”

  • Davve

    Hope for a return!

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