Bosnian broadcaster BHRT have revealed that they are unlikely to return to the Eurovision Song Contest unless their issues regarding funding are resolved. Bosnia & Herzegovina have not participated in the contest since 2016 due, in part, to debts owed to the European Broadcasting Union.
BHRT currently have around 6 million CHF (€5.48 million) of outstanding debts with the EBU. As a result, they are currently under EBU sanctions limiting them from taking part in the contest. BHRT did not broadcast this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, however they did broadcast the Europe Shine a Light special in 2020.
Missing the financial means for Eurovision
Speaking to N1 BiH, the Bosnian broadcaster revealed that they do not have the capability of financing a participation at the Eurovision Song Contest.
Unfortunately, BHRT does not have the financial means to finance the participation of representatives of Bosnia & Herzegovina in this most spectacular and expensive TV show.– BHRT, speaking to N1 BiH
The broadcaster is calling for support from Bosnian authorities and bodies in order to fund another Eurovision participation in the future. The broadcaster is currently funded via a license fee, which does not currently provide enough revenue for BHRT. In 2019, the channel reported a loss of €2.8 million.
Only with the support of the economy, state bodies, institutions, citizens and joint investment in Bosnia & Herzegovina’s representative at the Eurovision Song Contest could we expect Bosnia & Herzegovina to return to this competition soon.– BHRT, speaking to N1 BiH
Bosnia & Herzegovina in the Eurovision Song Contest
After qualifying from the first ever pre-selection round, Bosnia & Herzegovina joined the Eurovision Song Contest in 1993. They finished 16th at the contest in Millstreet with Fazla’s “Sva bol svijeta”. They continued to participate throughout the 1990s and 2000s – missing only the 1998 and 2000 contests.
Their best result came in 2006 when Hari Mata Hari secured a third-place finish for the Balkan nation. Their song “Lejla” scored 229 points in the final, finishing behind only Finland’s Lordi and Russia’s Dima Bilan. From 2004 to 2012, Bosnia & Herzegovina did not miss the final, finishing in the top 3 of the semi-final twice.
Following a three-year break, Bosnia & Herzegovina returned to the contest in 2016. Dalal & Deen (feat. Ana Rucner & Jala) performed “Ljubav je” in Stockholm, finishing in 11th place in the semi-final. It was the first, and only time, that Bosnia & Herzegovina failed to qualify the final.
Would you like to see Bosnia & Herzegovina returning to the contest in the future? Do you think funding is an issue for countries in Eurovision?
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