Australia: SBS plan their biggest ever Eurovision coverage

Australia: SBS plan their biggest ever Eurovision coverage
SBS presenter Julia Zemiro, with Lys Assia, the first ever winner of the Eurovision Song Contest in 1956. Photo:(SBS)
Baku, Azerbaijan -

With the growing popularity of the Eurovision Song Contest in Australia, broadcaster SBS have stepped up their coverage plans with some exciting new ideas in 2012, to meet the increasing demands of the fans down under.

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.

SBS is a public broadcasting radio and television network, the purpose of which is to provide multilingual and multicultural radio and television services that inform, entertain and educate all Australians, reflecting Australia's multicultural society.

Road to Eurovision with Julia Zemiro

SBS came up with the innovative idea of sending Julia on a road trip in a camper van (which the team have nicknamed Karl!) from the 2011 host city of Düsseldorf, through to the 2012 host city of Baku, meeting Eurovision legends past and present along the way.

Julia is currently still on the road and will ultimately travel through eight countries, interviewing and meeting people from Europe's Favourite TV Show including the very first winner Lys Assia, and admitted "I am tired but exhilarated!!". The road trip covers:-

  • Germany - Düsseldorf, Cologne, Hamburg, Siegburg
  • Switzerland - Lugano
  • Italy - Milan
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina - Sarajevo
  • Serbia - Belgrade
  • Greece - Athens
  • Turkey - Istanbul
  • Azerbaijan - Baku

Interested viewers in Australia can see the two shows on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th May at 7.30PM Australian time on SBS One, and find out which stars she meets along the way.

For a sneak preview of the trip, see Julia explaining the route in the video below.

More exciting coverage planned for Baku

Julia's co-commentator Sam Pang will arrive in Baku next week, and the coverage from behind the scenes will then begin.

There will be insider blogs from Baku, interviews with the artists, an in depth guide to what's hot and what's not. Julia & Sam are pictured below with the 2012 logo.

SBS also has an official website dedicated to the Eurovision Song Contest coverage, and also a Facebook and Twitter page, where you can find all of the information needed. There are updated videos, a pop up SBS digital radio station, and even tips on how to throw the ultimate Eurovision party.

There will also be the annual Australian unofficial televote where the nation will decide who they think should win Europe's Favourite TV Show in Baku.

Stay tuned to for more details about the Australian coverage in Baku in the coming weeks, where we will also talk to some Australian fans who have travelled thousands of miles just to be in Baku!.

There are 23 comments

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  • Posted on 22 May 2012 at 23:32
    But then the UK has the same opinion that Eurovision is tacky, MrEurovision

    The UK and Australia have the similar dry sense of humour, so sod the Eastern Europeans, we would have a ball :D report to the moderator
  • Posted on 14 May 2012 at 14:03
    Eurovision is a bit of fun. And were lucky to have SBS show ESC. Just imagine if *gasp* Channel 7 showed it - what kind of a mess they would turn it into! Anyways Sam and Julia as always we enjoy watching it and cant wait for this year!! Thanks SBS. Plus would be nice to have the live coverage as well :) report to the moderator
  • Posted on 13 May 2012 at 12:58
    Blue Knight, no, no, no. Don't misconstrue the interest here. While we have a good following of dedicated the fans, the public and mainstream media thinks ESC is a total joke with the worst kind of rubbish songs. If it gets mainstream media attention here, it's to mock certain acts for their outfits or something. If Australia ever joined the EBU and sent an entry, it would be the lowest grade artist, probably Idol rejects, not major artists. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 13 May 2012 at 11:10
    Aussie should join EBU then. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 13 May 2012 at 10:19
    I simply luv the excellent fun commentary from Julia Zemiro & Sam- they are an excellent choice from SBS keep upp the great work.

    I cannot wait for the excellent interviews that Julia does with the artists each year-
    and for baku i am hoping Julia will interview Loreen from sweden - I suspect there
    will be a kinda chemistry between these two talented ladies

    Fellow Eurovis blogger downunder

    Schlagertunes. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 13 May 2012 at 09:54
    Pt2 Most annoying for me of SBS's Eurovision telecast is that they stack ESC into 3 nights, meaning a total embargo from the internet for us fans. On the day of the final, it's an embargo of all media. If SBS can't go live, at least same day coverage. For live, just do the raw broadcast, and then re-telecast with their commentary and interviews in the traditional timeslot. SBS won't miss much, or anything. There's only a few hardcore fans that would watch live, and then would watch again the repeats with the regular peon audience. Come on SBS, lift your game. You wouldn't treat soccer like this, so why ESC? report to the moderator
  • Posted on 13 May 2012 at 09:51
    Pt1 I agree with TimTim that the commentators do no justice to the integrity of ESC. If you want two pinheads snorting over potential immature and stupid jokes and yell at the end of a song as though they've landed a triple-twisting somersault in an Olympics gymnastics final, then yes. As anyone knows, if you watch ESC for giggles, you'll be bored quickly. While Julia does have potential, especially her zany interviews, Sam Pang is a drip and often seems annoyed if he can't make a joke or, shock horror, must sheepishly admit he likes a particular song!

    I still support them, because anyone is better than Terry Wogan, who'd often prattle over the songs. Julia and Sam also need to watch this, especially when their offering as a song starts is "song 15". report to the moderator
  • Posted on 13 May 2012 at 08:10
    I really love Eurovision and I'm holding a party on the Grand Final night.
    I think SBS will be great because they are every year! report to the moderator
  • Posted on 13 May 2012 at 04:07
    Julia - you're the BEST!!!! Looking forward to the coverage - but I will be getting up and watching the finals live in the internet - I just have to see them. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 13 May 2012 at 03:38
    I completely disagree with timfm.. Julia is clearly passionate about Eurovision and adds a lot of colour and value to the broadcast. I was lucky enough to meet both SBS commentators in Oslo in 2010 and both of them love the contest. Julia spoke with us for quite a while and was very knowledgeable about the contest.

    It's a pity they dont broadcast it back live but i guess that would be very expensive. This will be the first year in the last 3 I havent been there in person (thanks to how difficult Azerbaijan made it for Aussies to get a visa) so im excited about the SBS coverage this year,

    (I think Italy is going to win but my 2 faves are France and Sweden) report to the moderator
  • Posted on 13 May 2012 at 02:48
    Sorry, Eurovision, the Australian commentators Julia and Sam do you no justice.
    Whilst entertaining to watch on their home soil, having them immersed in such diverse European cultures only makes for inept, awkward, amateurish and mostly condescending mockery of ESC contestants, accents, habits, dress and musical styles. They show little interest in the sweeping vision of towns and cities of the host country and make no efforts to learn of or educate us on the regions they visit.
    Enjoying your contest is made increasingly difficult in Australia with the persistence of our broadcaster SBS continuing to send them over and denying us the European feed.
    We love ESC for taking us to lands we may never see. Seeing these lands accompanied by the mock commentary offered by Julia and Sam leaves us flat.
    Zero points.

    Turkey looks good this year...
    Congratulations, Baku! report to the moderator
  • Posted on 13 May 2012 at 00:01
    Well done to SBS on doing a such fantastic job! Looking forward to watching the Road to Eurovision specials!! I agree with missyouluciano and AJCEurovision, we would be awesome if we were allowed to enter Eurovision. Just this week I've started a campaign (mainly on Twitter -!/Australia4ESC, but also on facebook and blogger) to get Australia into Eurovision. If you interested please show your support! SBS do such a fantastic job with Eurovision, and there is an ever growing loyal fanbase here in Australia. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 12 May 2012 at 20:24
    I had the pleasure of watching Eurovision 2011 from Queensland, Australia, whilst visiting family. I have been a fan of Julia Zamiro and her show Rokwiz for a couple of years and when I saw that she was presenting the ESC last year, it made my viewing much more pleasurable.

    I think that SBS's plans for 2012 are marvelous, and now I've found this site, I will monitor it with interest.You will see from my profile that I have been a fan of Eurovision since day 1 in 1956 (when I was eight years old). So when I say that I thought Julia's presentation of ESC last year was the best I've seen from all the networks, I do know what I'm talking about. She made my stay in Australia that bit more wonderful. Well Done SBS !!!! report to the moderator
  • Posted on 12 May 2012 at 17:37
    To me, Australia is the only country out of Europe, who scould actually be considerd to be allowed taking part in The Eurovision, They do something to cover it, they have their own voting, and they have a lot of great artists.

    NOTE: I consider Israel as an European country. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 12 May 2012 at 17:07
    One day I will be at Eurovision! But for now I will have to settle for the next best things, SBS's great coverage of the contest :D I'm so glad that we have a channel that has dedicated time and effort to bring one of the world's most amazing song contests to our screens in Australia! <3 I shall be watching every minute, also I think Australia should drift up towards Europe and be apart of the European Broadcasting Union just so we can enter :) report to the moderator