37 countries represented at Eurovision in 2014 [Updated]
Public broadcasters from 37 countries have confirmed participation in the 59th Eurovision Song Contest. Poland (TVP) and Portugal (RTP) are making a comeback in 2014, while the new Greek public broadcaster NERIT is set to continue the nation's participation after last year's closure of its predecessor.
This year's 37 participants are the broadcasters in Albania (RTSH), Armenia (AMPTV), Austria (ORF), Azerbaijan (Ictimai TV), Belarus (BTRC), Belgium (VRT), Denmark (DR), Estonia (ERR), Finland (YLE), France (France 3), Georgia (GPB), Germany (NDR), Greece (NERIT), Hungary (MTV), Iceland (RÚV), Ireland (RTÉ), Israel (IBA), Italy (RAI), Latvia (LTV), Lithuania (LRT), FYR Macedonia (MKRTV), Malta (PBS), Moldova (TRM), Montenegro (RTCG), the Netherlands (AvroTros), Norway (NRK), Poland (TVP), Portugal (RTP), Romania (TVR), Russia (RTR), San Marino (SRMTV), Slovenia (RTVSLO) Spain (TVE), Sweden (SVT), Switzerland (SRG SSR), United Kingdom (BBC) and Ukraine (NTU).
One more country kept Europe on their toes till the 17th of January till we could announce that Slovenia decided to join the contest in 2014.
"We see broadcasters from Poland and Portugal returning to the competition as they seem to be on their way to recovery from the financial crisis, while others are facing tough choices as they are being hit by severe budget cuts," says Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
Substantial effort made
The EBU made a "substantial effort" working with Members to find solutions for financial and organisational challenges, yet Bulgaria, Cyprus and Serbia saw no option but opting out of the 2014 contest.
Croatia stays home due to organisational reasons, Bosnia & Herzegovina withdrew after initially signing up for the contest. Several broadcasters already expressed to the EBU their intention to return in 2015, when the competition celebrates its 60th anniversary.
As France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the host country Denmark are automatically qualified for the Final, at least 30 countries will take part in the Semi-Finals. From each Semi-Final, ten countries will qualify for the Final.
This year's Eurovision Song Contest will be held at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark, on the 6th, 8th and 10th of May and is hosted by the Danish EBU Member DR. Last year, the three shows reached some 180 million people across Europe, as well as in Australia, Kazakhstan and China.