The financially troubled BHRT, the Bosnia & Herzegovina broadcaster responsible for their Eurovision participation, may be about to close. This comes after its business banking accounts have been blocked.
The concerns about financial difficulties come from the Management Board of the Bosnian Radio And Television Network (BHRT). They have now launched an urgent appeal to the Bosnian Government and other stakeholders to save the public broadcaster.
For the last three weeks, the banks have blocked the broadcaster’s business accounts. This threatens its ability to operate any of its services.
As has been reported previously, the funding difficulties that BHRT faces are a huge barrier to any potential return of the country to the Eurovision Song Contest. BHRT cannot access any of the EBU’s services, including Eurovision, until its debts to the EBU are paid.
Some of these issues come from RTRS, the Bosnian public broadcaster for the Republika Srpska region. RTRS has since 2017, not properly provided BHRT with its allocation of legally guaranteed fees. This is a major hurdle for BHRT’s finances to overcome.
BHRT is the only broadcaster in Bosnia & Herzegovina with EBU membership. Should BHRT close, Bosnia & Herzegovina will be left without an EBU member. It will therefore be unable to participate in Eurovision until and unless a new broadcasting member from that country is found.
Bosnia & Herzegovina at the Eurovision Song Contest
Bosnia & Herzegovina, under BHRT, regularly participated in Eurovision from 1993 to 2012. Aside from being relegated from the contest twice in 1998 and 2000, they appeared in every Grand Final. Their first entry in 1993, Fazla, coincided with the Bosnian War. After 2012, the broadcaster ran into financial difficulties. Since 2012, the only time they have participated was 2016. In that contest they failed to qualify for the final with Dalal & Deen with Ana Rucner and Jala’s “Ljubav Je”. Their best placing was in 2006, where Hata Mata Hari’s “Lejla” placed third with 229 points.
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