In an interview with Australian outlet TV Tonight, SBS have announced they are abandoning plans for the Eurovision Asia Song Contest, after 5 years of development.
The spin-off contest was first announced in 2016, to be held in Australia in 2017 with 20 countries competing. However, all social media updates for the event were indefinitely paused in 2017, and never returned.
“I think it’s fair to say we’ve rescinded our rights. We spent a number of years trying to figure out how to do it and then the global pandemic came along. It’s very different to the way Eurovision started post-World War Two, as a means of bringing people together. There was a real purpose in establishing it,” said Josh Martin, SBS Commissioning Editor and Australian Head of Delegation.
Prior to this incarnation, the EBU licenced the rights to an Asia-Pacific branch of the contest to Asiavision Pty. Ltd., who planned events in 2009 and 2010 but also never got the show off the ground.
Martin continued, “Eurovision Asia is difficult for a number of reasons: timezones, language barriers, all sorts of issues. We tried so hard but that was one that we just could never quite pin down.”
The EBU has long been searching for ways to expand the contest globally, and despite the setback with Eurovision Asia, the American Song Contest will premiere in 2022 on American broadcaster NBC, with songs from all 50 states, 5 territories, and the capital Washington D.C. competing.
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