Israel to be confirmed as host for Eurovision Song Contest 2019
This afternoon it has been reported by Israeli media that an agreement has been reached between the Israeli Finance Ministry and the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (IPBC), meaning that it now appears very likely that the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest will indeed be taking place in Israel. Israel won the right to host the contest next year following their victory earlier this year in Lisbon with singer-songwriter Netta and her song' Toy' however before it can be officially finalised there must be a guarantee paid up front in order to confirm financial security ahead of the event.
There has been weeks of confusion, public feuds and huge concerns raised over whether Israel would in fact be able to host the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest or whether the public state broadcaster would not be able to meet the €12 Million guarantee that the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) had requested. Tensions reached a climax overnight as the public feud between the Israeli government, including prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself, and the broadcaster continued - with the government refusing to loan the broadcaster money and also threatening to shut down IPBC if they did not pay the guarantee on time. Fortunately, an agreement has been reached just ahead of the EBU set deadline of this evening.
Following last minute discussions, the Israeli Times and other local media are reporting that the broadcaster has agreed to a loan deal proposal by the Finance Ministry. This comes after initial concerns that paying the guarantee could jeopardise up to 200 jobs within the broadcaster and questions over whether the IPBC had the financial capacity to host. An official statement by the EBU has not yet been released.
With the financial commitment in place and assuming that the payment is made today, plans can now move forward between the EBU and IPBC on the location for the contest. A number of Israel's biggest cities are currently taking part in the bidding phase to win the contest - including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Eilat.
Are you happy that an agreement has been reached and the contest looks certain to be held in Israel? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or by connecting with us on social media.