What is the EBU – the European Broadcasting Union?


The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is an alliance of public service broadcasters. If a broadcaster is a member of the EBU, they usually get to join in the Eurovision Song Contest.

There are 110 member organizations in 55 countries and have an additional 31 Associates in Asia, Africa, Australasia and the Americas. Until 2022, three Russian broadcasters were part of the EBU, but quit in February of that year after being excluded from the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest.

Members of the EBU are radio and television companies, most of which are government-owned public service broadcasters or privately owned stations with public service missions. Active Members come from as far north as Iceland and as far south as Egypt, from Ireland in the west and Azerbaijan in the east, and almost every nation from geographical Europe in between.

Associate Members are from countries and territories beyond Europe, such as Canada, Japan, Mexico, India, and Hong Kong. Associate Members from the United States include ABC, CBS, NBC, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Time Warner, and the only individual station, Chicago-based classical music station WFMT.

EBU active members

Active Members are those paying EBU members meeting all technical criteria for full membership, whose states are either within the European Broadcasting Area (EBA) or members of the Council of Europe. Syria is an example of a country within the EBA not complying with all technical criteria for full membership, and thus it is currently only granted Associated Membership.

The EBU’s highest profile production is the Eurovision Song Contest, organised by its Eurovision Network. The Eurovision Network also organises the Eurovision Dance Contest, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, the Eurovision Young Dancers competition, and other competitions for young musicians and screenwriters.

EBU theme music

The theme music played before EBU broadcasts is Marc-Antoine Charpentier‘s Prelude to Te Deum. It is well known to Europeans as it is played before and after the Eurovision Song Contest and other important events.