Yesterday a rumor spread across social media like wildfire, claiming that İTV and Azerbaijan would not be returning to Eurovision in 2023. The news originated through an instagram post from Songfestival Azerbaijan, which reported that the broadcaster had released it’s plans for TV and entertainment programs to be broadcasted over the next year, and that the Eurovision Song Contest was not included.
The rumor of a withdrawal was strengthened by the fact that İTV had yet to publicly comment on Azerbaijan’s participation in 2023. Local media outlet OLAY reached out to İTV to clarify the matter and were told that “Everything is in order” by the channel’s Deputy Director Tural Sevdimaly.
Alasgar Valiyev, the Deputy Chief of Staff also clarified why Eurovision was left off the list of 2022-2023 programming press release, stating that:
“This information mainly talks about new projects, serials, films to be shown for the first time and author’s programs. In the press release, it was also mentioned that all the other shows, projects and programs that are popular with the public until now on Public Television will continue. Eurovision is traditionally an international Song Contest broadcast by Public Television (İTV) every year. Public TV broadcasts this competition every year since 2007, when it became a member of the European Broadcasting Union. In other words, there is no new news in this matter.”
The 2023 contest will mark Azerbaijan’s 15th participation to date, excluding the cancelled 2020 contest. Across their participations, the countrry has only failed to qualify for the final one time in 2017, and also won the contest in 2011 with Ell and Nikki’s “Running Scared”. Last year in Turin, The Voice of Azerbaijan winner Nadir Rustamli finished in 16th place with a total of 106 points.