RTVE’s recently-appointed president, José Manuel Pérez Tornero, has stated that he wants the Spanish broadcaster to “take Eurovision very seriously” as the Spanish Eurovision audience shifts towards a younger demographic. Spain have scored poor results in recent years, missing out on the top 20 in the last six contests.
Speaking to El Periodico’s Yotele, Pérez Tornero said that RTVE are “interested in” Eurovision and want to focus on listening to what younger viewers want to see represent their nation at the contest. The percentage viewing share for 15-24 year olds was 52.8% this year. This means over half of the young people in the broadcasting countries tuned into the Rotterdam contest.
Ready for a shift in results
Pérez Tornero, who was only appointed as RTVE’s president in March, said that he wants the broadcaster to focus on their participation in the contest and deliver as the “only Spanish public television” broadcaster that has an EBU membership.
We are going to take Eurovision very seriously. RTVE are the only Spanish public television [broadcaster] that belongs to the EBU. We are interested in the event and in contact with young people in their European context.– José Manuel Pérez Tornero, speaking to Yotele
Interest in the contest has dipped in recent years in Spain. The 2021 contest received the lowest viewing figures in Spain for a grand final since 2017. Just over 4 million viewers tuned in to see Blas Cantó represent Spain in Rotterdam with “Voy a quedarme”.
There are no plans for RTVE’s Eurovision team to change at the moment. However, the roles Head of Delegation and Head of Entertainment may be reshuffled in the near future. This is part of a gradually-changing “renewed RTVE” which will come into action fully following this summer’s Olympic Games. Ana María Bordás and Toñi Prieto – who are currently Heads of Delegation and Entertainment at RTVE – may be set to leave their jobs as part of the restructuring.
Spain’s recent Eurovision history
As one of the largest financial contributors to the EBU, Spain is one of the “Big 5” which guarantees them a place in the Grand Final each year. However, this hasn’t brought a smooth run of results with it. Spain haven’t placed within the top 20 since Ruth Lorenzo’s tenth-place finish in 2014. You’d also have to look a far way back to find their last top 3 finish – which came courtesy of Anabel Conde in 1995.
Blas Cantó was selected as Spain’s representative for 2020 and 2021. His 2020 offering, “Universo”, wasn’t widely loved by the Eurovision fans, sitting in 21st place on My Eurovision Scoreboard prior to the contest’s cancellation.
Cantó returned this year with a two-song national final, which was won by “Voy a quedarme”. Unfortunately for Spain, they didn’t manage to score a good result at the contest (again) and placed in 24th place with just 6 points. Also, Spain were notably one of four countries to score “nul points” from the televote.
Do you think Spain can get back on track at Eurovision? Who would you like to see represent Spain next year in Italy?
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