Back in 2018, we reported that there were murmurs of interest for a possible debut for New Zealand at Eurovision, in the midst of ongoing conversations to strengthen ties between New Zealand and Europe. The year prior, their state broadcaster expressed interest in the currently-shelved AsiaVision Song Contest. However, a recent EBU statement has quashed any possibility of a New Zealand debut any time soon.
As reported by TVNZ, some New Zealanders have wondered why Australia has been represented at the contest since 2015, but they are yet to be extended the same invitation. In light of this, Seven Sharp’s Rhys Mathewson approached the EBU to ask why the invitation has yet to extend across the Tasman Sea, and whether a Kiwi debut would be likely in the future.
There are no plans right now to invite New Zealand to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest…Australia received special permission to participate after airing the contest annually for over 30 years.EBU spokesperson responding to Rhys Mathewson’s inquiry
New Zealand and the Eurovision Song Contest
Much like Australia’s SBS, New Zealand’s state-owned broadcaster, Television New Zealand (TVNZ) is an associate member of the EBU. However, as noted by Eurovoix, their history with the Eurovision Song Contest is far more patchy than their Aussie counterparts.
New Zealand does not have much of a documented interest in the contest, nor has it broadcast the contest frequently despite its EBU associate membership. The contest was first broadcast in New Zealand back in the 1970s, however, it did not take off in the same way it did in Australia. Stratos Television briefly offered the contest on delay for viewers in New Zealand between 2009 and 2011. UKTV then picked up the rights between 2014 and 2016, before being dropped once again.
Since 2016, any fans wanting to view the contest have had to watch it via the stream on the contest’s official YouTube channel.
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