Broadcasters lodge complaint with EBU over media access

Eurovision 2023

Swedish journalist Torbjörn Ek has revealed the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has received at least eight complaints from broadcasters about the lack of media access to cover rehearsals for the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest.

Complaints have come from eight (unnamed) broadcasters participating in the first semifinal. They feel their performers are being disadvantaged by a decision to lock the media out of first rehearsals and not hold press conferences during the first days of on-site preparations in Liverpool.

Late start

The first rehearsals will be closed to the media and fan websites this year, and the second rehearsals will be available through the online press centre. The on-site media centre opens on Monday, 8 May, just one day before the first semifinal, meaning most mainstream journalists will delay their arrival until then. The acts taking part in the first semi-final will be busy in dress rehearsals on that day and, unlike those scheduled for the Thursday semifinal, will have no time to spend with the media promoting their entries.

The EBU has stated it stands by its decision, adding that the cost of opening the press centre for an extra week would be prohibitive. They insist the closed rehearsals will reduce ‘online hate’ for performers.

In previous years, each artist got to have a press conference after rehearsing, but that’s not the case for 2023. There will be a joint ‘meet and greet’ during the rehearsals week. So far, fewer than a third of delegations have shown interest in this.

What did the broadcasters say?

Here’s the email (translated for OnEurope):

Email to EBU from broadcasters at Eurovision 2023

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