Two Semi-Finals Eurovision Song Contest in 2008

Two Semi-Finals Eurovision Song Contest in 2008
The next Eurovision Song Contest, to be held in Belgrade in 2008, will be organised with two Semi-Finals. The proposal was presented by the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group and accepted by European Broadcasting Union Television Committee at their 50th annual meeting in Verona last week.

All countries will be grouped into two Semi-Finals, with the exception of France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Serbia, who will automatically qualify for the Final. "We are convinced that the introduction of a second Semi-Final contributes to a more stable future for the Eurovision Song Contest," said Svante Stockselius, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest.

"We carefully listened to the suggestions of Members and fans and we took notice of the critical remarks in the press. After evaluating several scenarios, we decided to introduce a second Semi-Final already in 2008. This increases the fairness of the competition, opens doors to a more interesting Final and production-wise, it is the most flexible solution," added Mr. Stockselius.

The Eurovision Song Contest is an annual competition for active members of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), represented by the public broadcasters in their respective countries. The first contest was held in Lugano, Switzerland in 1956. Since then, the contest has become a true European tradition. In 2007, the contest was held in Helsinki, Finland, celebrating its 52nd anniversary. Next year it will be held in Belgrade, Serbia.

For more information

European Broadcasting Union
Patricia Goldschmid, Communications Advisor, Mobile: +41.79.774.86.44, [email protected]