After this morning's announcement to fine the Ukrainian channel UA; PBC by the European Broadcasting Union. It has been confirmed by the Director General of the Ukrainian national Broadcaster that they intend to be appealing to the EBU over this.
Although, not disclosed Zurab Alasania stated that the total fines comes to 200,000 Euros, and that the UA: PBC is very disappointed with this, and in a statement to Reuters that, "Formally, it wasn't us who made the decision not to allow her (Julia Samoilova), but I don't think that the SBU (State Security Service) or the Governement will want to take part in this". It seems that the troubled broadcaster, is trying to defer the blame. By mentioning SBU, they have undoubtedly confirmed that the decision was political, and out of their hands.
What Was The Issue Over:
The European Broadcasting Union were very unhappy with the fact the Ukraine struggled to keep to time and schedule, and were kept reliably uninformed. The host city was delayed by several months, then just 4 months until the Grand Final the core team in Ukraine resigned. There was also a delay with the venue, and it took a while before the hosts were announced. The EBU have felt at times that the contest may be delayed. The worst crisis came when Russia sent Julia Samoilova with the song, "Flame Is Burning". Ukraine declared that she was not allowed to participate as she was banned from the country, after entering Crimea through Russia and not Ukraine. The EBU proposed compromises which were blocked by Ukraine, and saw Russia withdraw, and fail to broadcast the competition. Many have seen this as using Eurovision as game of political chess, and not the music which it is supposed to be about.
What Have the EBU Said?
The EBU were not happy one bit over how the Eurovision drama unfolded, they felt their hands were tied, and felt powerless to intervene which brought politics into the competition. This is something the Broadcasting Union has always tried to prevent. They believe attention was more focussed on the political drama and not on the actual contest itself. They have also stated that a substantial fine has been given, but have not disclosed the actual amount, or agreed the total sanctions that Ukraine and Russia would face.
What Next For Ukraine?
Although an undisclosed fine has been issued to UA/PBC it has still not been mentioned if there are any further sanctions in this matter. The Ukrainian broadcaster has stated the fine was 200,000 Euros, and have launched an appeal. We will have to wait and see how the EBU responds to this. There is the potential for the EBU to ban Ukraine from participating next year. It was done to Romania over unpaid fees in 2016, so there should be no reason as to why they would not do it again. However, after viewing figures dropped a lot after Russia withdrew and did not broadcast. Combined also with the threat from smaller nations not to participate in 2018, will the EBU really want a smaller competition?
We have yet to hear on Russia or the final decision on how the European Broadcasting Union has dealt with both, and final sanctions. Stay tuned to Eurovoxx to find out.
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