Australia: 2012 coverage a big success

Australia: 2012 coverage a big success
Sam Pang & Julia Zemiro, Australian hosts and commentators.Photo: Thomas Hanses (EBU)
Sydney, Australia -

Europe's Favourite TV Show continues to enjoy a growing popularity amongst the Australian audience, with broadcaster SBS revealing that the coverage of the 2012 event has enjoyed their biggest ratings to date.

Since 2009, Australian broadcaster SBS has been sending a team to cover the Eurovision Song Contest, the commentators being the popular charismatic duo of Sam Pang, a presenter, writer, broadcaster and producer, and Julia Zemiro who has a background in TV, theatre and film. The coverage is directed by Paul Clarke. You can revisit our entertaining interview with Sam & Julia in Baku below.

Meet the commentators from Australia

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A summary of 2012 SBS statistics

  • The TV broadcast of the Semi-Final shows was the higest since 2004
  • The Final saw the second highest audience, only slightly less than the 2003 Final in Riga
  • 2.77 million people in total tuned in to the coverage nationally on SBS One
  • 134,000 unique browsers visited the SBS site during the final week, more than double the amount of 2011
  • SBS Online had voting integrated with all three TV broadcasts whereby viewers could give a thumbs up or a thumbs down during the performances, the percentage results were revealed after each performance
  • There was also an unofficial televote during the broadcast of the Final to see who Australia's winner would be, with Sweden's Loreen amassing 72,186 votes
  • Social network coverage was ramped up significantly with hundreds of tweets on screen the three broadcasts

Road to Eurovision

It was not just the coverage of the three live shows that SBS aired during their coverage of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, co commentator Julia Zemiro embarked upon a "Road To Eurovision" journey where she and a crew drove from 2011 host city of Düsseldorf, through to the 2012 host city of Baku, meeting Eurovision legends past and present along the way. The show has received many plaudits for it's innovation and really outlines SBS's commitment to providing quality and in depth coverage for it's viewers.

What if Australia were allowed to participate????

One frustration often for the Australian fans, is that their country does not fit the participation criteria to have their own entry in the Eurovision Song Contest. So put the hypothetical question to Sam Pang and Julia Zemiro that if there was a rule change overnight, and Australia were allowed to enter, who should they send as their participant. You can see the amusing outcome of the question in the video below.

Who should represent Australia?

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What lies in store for 2013? approached SBS to ask about the coverage plans for 2013, and although some ideas are still to be confirmed, they announced "2013 marks the 30th anniversary of the SBS broadcast of the biggest entertainment show on the planet, the Eurovision Song Contest. With an ever increasing Australian fan base SBS will bring the party with its biggest offering ever across TV, radio and online. Hosts Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang will again head up SBS’s exclusive coverage, and will bring the fun, glamour and madness direct from 2013’s host city Malmö Sweden." will report more news about Australia's plans for 2013 coverage as soon as it becomes available.

There are 25 comments

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  • Posted on 14 January 2013 at 11:45
    Well here in sunny Newcastle we just can't wait. Now that I have my 2013 calendar the dates are already blocked out so nobody can distract us from the serious business of the ESC. Time to brush up on some smörgåsbord recipes, whip up some blue and yellow bunting and start planning a party! Thankyou Julia, Sam and SBS for brightening the musical landscape. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 13 January 2013 at 03:45
    I'm dreading it again. All these two do is constantly mock the show and the contestants, and talk over the songs. Last year they really accelerated the mockery to stratospheric proportions by running obnoxious twitter posts between performances.

    NO, Australia should never compete in ESC. You think Dustin the Turkey was embarrassing, we'd send Ozzie Ostrich. There's no way in hell any credible artist would go. ESC is seen as a cringe and the lowest form of music, and with SBS perpetuating that ever increasingly each year with their poorly conceived intruisions, that situation will only worsen.

    My blog from last year: Why Australia is a disgrace to ESC: report to the moderator
  • Posted on 12 January 2013 at 10:40
    You will see from this blog - that Australia has already competed in the Eurovision Song contest and did very well too.
    Come on Aussie, come on! lol report to the moderator
  • Posted on 9 January 2013 at 15:21
    I'm like an addict to Eurovision c: I've stopped listening to mainstream music and just listen to the European stuff coz it's waaaaaayyyyyy better.

    I do agree we wouldn't fit into eurovision, but I love Julia and Sam c: report to the moderator
  • Posted on 9 January 2013 at 05:16
    i cannot wait until i get to see both julia and sam do the coverage for australia again. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 7 January 2013 at 07:08
    What isn't mentioned in the article above is that SBS also runs an exclusive DAB digital radio station dedicated 24/7 to Eurovision hits for a full month in the lead-up to Eurovision.

    The channel is broadcast around Australia on the digital radio network and online. It runs special programming on the history of Eurovision, Eurovision re-mixes and simulcasts the Eurovision final for those who just can't make it to a TV.

    SBS has been broadasting the "pop-up" station each year since 2010 - so will probably repeat the offering this year....we hope! report to the moderator
  • Posted on 7 January 2013 at 01:05
    I disagree with Zombie ! I like Sam & Julia's easy-going approach.. I followed the Contest all the way through on SBS . I enjoyed their pre-contest travel around Europe discussing the Contest with former contestants and Eurovision officials ! And it was fun with the behind-the -scenes chats with the singers during the competition , as well as their live updates during the Semi's and Final ! I'm looking forward to their involvement this Year , too !

    As far as Australia's involvement in Eurovision , the better idea would be to have a separate International Division . We all know how the Americans would try to dominate and control the Contest . The results at the end would be a disaster for Eurovision ! report to the moderator
  • Posted on 6 January 2013 at 13:45
    According to the SBS website Sam & Julia bring "expert commentary & hilarious insights". Maybe in the minds of the marketing department of SBS.
    And what's this I see? "SBS's commitment to providing quality & in depth coverage for it's viewers". What!? This statement must be direct from SBS marketing too. How is posting on-screen mean spirited comments straight out of Twitter providing quality & depth? Providing superficial & stupid coverage is more like it.
    As for the idea that Julia & Sam have helped Eurovision's image in Australia; they have just tried to turn it into a joke.
    Eurovision is about the songs; not about Julia, not about Sam, not about Facebook & not about Twitter. Can we just see the performances without all the additional BS from those who crave attention?
    From the "hilarious insights" to the social media circus, the coverage is a disgrace. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 6 January 2013 at 08:51
    I think that Zombie Refflux is talking through his hat. Julia and Sam were great last year as they are every year. They help to make the show for me. having a couple of Australian faces and voices on board has helped the shows image a whole lot over here.

    I can't wait until next May to see what they can come up with. It is a pity we cannot vote though. But i don't think it is realistic for us ever to compete. It is EUROvision after all. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 5 January 2013 at 17:18
    I think it should stay like this. It is Eurovision primarily and for European countries only. There have been exceptions, but only very few. Eurovision is big and confusing enough- over 40 countries competing. Imagine if EBU starts allowing more countries. It will become huge, inefficient, and unmanagable. Australia can make their own competition, like Australia & Oceania- vision. Asia is already planing something like that. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 5 January 2013 at 15:19
    It would be great if other countries around the world came to participate in Eurovision, but how? The competition is primarily European. And while some countries such as Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Lebanon are allowed is that they are part of Europe geographically.
    Even if it is a good idea it would betray the Eurovision.
    Greeting from France. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 5 January 2013 at 15:04
    I hated SBS's coverage of Baku.
    The semi finals was delayed unnecessarily (Tuesday's semi final was delayed until Friday & Thursday's until Saturday).
    The presenters were disrespectful & tried to make it into a comedy show. I cringed as they reeled out their lame attempts at humour.
    Distracting Facebook polls moving around on the bottom of the screen during the performances.
    The postcards between the songs were spoilt by moronic comments posted from Twitter. Again these Tweets tried to be funny but were just pathetic.
    It was so good to watch the DVDs later without all of SBS's garbage. I don't want to watch SBS's terrible coverage ever again.
    I wish EBU could stop them ruining Eurovision. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 5 January 2013 at 15:00
    Even if the EBU don't allow countries outside of Europe to compete, I think it would still be nice if there was a rest of the world vote where countries outside of Europe for example, Canada, USA and Australia's votes are all added together and classed as The Rest of The World vote. :)

    or maybe add a continental vote where North American, South America, Africa, Asia and Oceania get to have a vote.

    I just feel that times have moved on, and we have something special we should share with the world. :) report to the moderator
  • Posted on 5 January 2013 at 12:05
    Ooh, I love howmenare's idea... :0) report to the moderator
  • Posted on 5 January 2013 at 02:07
    They should totally let Australia participate! The only problem of course is the time, so I think that they should at least have a 100% vote or maybe like a poll on the SBS website. They've let other countries outside of Europe participate before, so why can't Australia? report to the moderator