ESC 2011 – 4 months ago I published a post called “Will they return” in which I assessed the chances of Austria, Liechtenstein and Italy returning or debuting in Germany in 2011. Now, there have been new developments and we have more information. The chances thus need to be reassessed. There also is new information about possible returns of Andorra, Slovakia Hungary, San Marino, Monaco, Czech Republic and Luxembourg.
I was not very optimistic about Italy returning, as it was never for political voting or lack of success that RAI withdrew from the contest. They wanted to focus on their own San Remo-Festival rather than the Eurovision Song Contest. Germany’s victory didn’t change anything about that (as opposed to Austria). However, this summer the director of RAI announced that the winner of the casting show X-Factor would not, as in previous years, participate in the San-Remo Festival, but the Eurovision Song Contest. Since then nothing has been reported or announced. It is quite possible that the announcement was a PR gag or just a gaffe. Should Italy return, they would get Big4 status, turning them into a Big5. Italy’s return would also mean a gain in popularity of the Eurovision Song Contest and a better financial situation, that might enable smaller countries with financial troubles to return.
The chances of Italy returning in 2011:
4 months ago: 5%
There were many rumors about Liechtenstein’s participation in the last 4 months and the director of their television station even announced their participation in 2011. The EBU has even changed the rules (probably) for Liechtenstein: They don’t have to be necessarily a member of the EBU by the time they apply for a participation at the Eurovision Song Contest. 1FLTV is currently in negotiations with international partners to organize a selection process.
The chances of Liechtenstein debuting in 2011:
4 months ago: 80%
The chances of Austria returning in 2011:
4 months ago: 80%
Duna TV is in negotiations with the EBU about participating in the contest. Hungary withdrew from the contest in 2009 after the previous broadcaster, Magyar Televízió (MTV), left the competition for financial reasons. DunaTV might benefit from the EBU’s decision to change the rules of application (see Liechtenstein)
The chances of Hungary returning in 2011: 60%
The Slovak television is obviously debating whether the financial effort needed to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest is worth it for the financially strained channel. At the moment they ask their viewers through a poll on their website, whether Slovakia should participate in 2011. At the moment the supporters make up more than 80%. It seems clear that the Slovak people want to participate. The channel’s decision might be influenced by this.
The chance of Slovakia participating in 2011: 50%
The Catalan newspaper “Diari d’Andorra” reported yesterday, that Andorra will not return to the Eurovision Song Contest 2011. The director of the Andorran television channel RTVA, Jordi Marticella, told the paper that Andorra can’t participate due to a tense financial situation. As there have been cutbacks on the budget of the television station, they are not able to pay the participation fees. “a participation at Eurovision is a topic that we will always discuss, but currently we do not have an option”. 2011 will thus be the second year in a row without Andorra.
The chances of Andorra returning in 2011: 0%
Luxembourg, Andorra, San Marino, Monaco and the Czech Republic have announced that they have no intention of participating in 2011. Most of them name financial troubles as the reason for their withdrawal.
There is no information about Montenegro at this point!