SBS with production partner Blink TV have secured Australia’s participation as a competitor at the Eurovision Song Contest for the next five years, until 2023.
The 2019 contest will mark Australia’s fifth year competing, but until now, it’s been by invitation of the European Broadcasting Union each year.
Australia's love affair with Eurovision has been a passionate and enduring one, and the announcement of a more permanent involvement in the event comes on the heels of Australia's first ever selection show, Eurovision – Australia Decides.
After winning over the Australian public and a jury of industry experts on Friday 8 and Saturday 9 February, Kate Miller-Heidke and her song Zero Gravity were selected to represent Australia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019, to be held in Tel Aviv, Israel and broadcast exclusively on SBS in May.
SBS Commissioning Editor Josh Martin said of the five-year deal, "SBS has been the home of the Eurovision Song Contest in Australia for 35 years and we’re thrilled by this invitation to become a more permanent member of the Eurovision Song Contest family. We will continue to showcase Australia’s amazing talent and diversity to hundreds of millions of people across Europe and the world. It highlights the power of music to bring people together – even from polar opposite sides of the globe. Thank you Europe!”
Paul Clarke, Australian Head of Delegation and Director of Blink TV, said, “This is a wonderful validation of what Australia has brought to Eurovision, and we say “Thank You Europe!" for their decision. It’s been 10 years since we first took a team to Eurovision, just Julia and Sam, myself and a cameraman. Since then SBS’s coverage has grown, and the Australian music artists and industry have completely risen to the exciting challenge. Australians have really fallen in love with the joy, and Eurovision has become part of the Australian entertainment calendar. Europe knows it can always expect great music and passion from Australia.”
Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest Jon Ola Sand said, “We are delighted that Australia has become a more permanent member of the Eurovision Song Contest Family. The Australians have long been huge fans of the event with a great number of loyal viewers year on year and when they were invited to participate in the 60th anniversary edition of the Contest, we couldn’t have imagined quite how popular their artists would become. It was a natural progression for us to agree to their inclusion as a participant for the next five years as they bring so much to the table and we very much look forward to welcoming them to Tel Aviv to perform, alongside the 41 other exciting participants in what’s sure to be a fantastic celebration of music.”
The Eurovision Song Contest is the world’s largest television music competition and in 2018, it attracted around 186 million* viewers worldwide and reached more than 2.9 million** Australians on SBS.
Stay tuned to the SBS Eurovision website for updates: sbs.com.au/eurovision