Media Centre

About the Eurovision Song Contest

What is the Eurovision Song Contest?

The Eurovision Song Contest is the world’s largest live music event. It is organized annually by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the world’s foremost alliance of public service media (PSM).

The competition, in which participating Member broadcasters of the EBU send a new song to represent their nation, takes place annually in the country that won the previous year’s edition.

The event is produced by the EBU together with the broadcaster which sent the winning song.

41 broadcasters took part in the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest which was won by the Netherlands with the song “Arcade” by Duncan Laurence.

The Eurovision Song Contest has taken place every year since 1956. 27 countries have won the competition at least once.

The 2019 competition reached over 180 million TV viewers in over 40 markets and millions more online.

How is the Eurovision Song Contest governed?

The Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group is the governing board for all EBU Members, its purpose being to guide the Eurovision Song Contest. Further details concerning the organization of the Eurovision Song Contest can be found here https://eurovision.tv/about/organisers

What are the rules of the Eurovision Song Contest?

As with every major international event, the Eurovision Song Contest also has rules. The rules for each contest are usually published in the autumn the year before the contest. The public rules for the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest can be found at https://eurovision.tv/about/rules

Who can participate in the Eurovision Song Contest?

Participation in the Eurovision Song Contest is limited to Members of the EBU or specially invited Associates. More details on membership criteria can be found here https://www.ebu.ch/about/members

(Associates of the EBU may be eligible to enter the Eurovision Song Contest, this is decided by the Reference Group, the governing body of the Eurovision Song Contest, on a case by case basis.)

How is the Eurovision Song Contest financed?

The Eurovision Song Contest is a non-profit event, mostly financed by:

  • contributions from the Participating Broadcasters (the so-called participation fee), adding up to 6.2 million euros combined. This fee is different for each country based on the solidarity principle that the strongest shoulders carry the most weight. It is at the sole discretion of each Participating Broadcaster to decide if they wish to make public the financial details of their participation;

  • a contribution from the Host Broadcaster is generally between 10-20 million euros, depending on local circumstances and available resources;

  • a contribution from the Host City, either financially or 'in kind' (e.g. covering expenses of city branding, side events, security, etc.);

  • commercial revenue from sponsorship agreements, ticket sales, televoting and merchandise, which varies from year to year.

On average, over 90% of all available funds are earmarked for the TV production and event organisation. Approximately 5% of available funds represent the budget for the EBU's Eurovision Song Contest team and its partners. Any remaining funds are reimbursed to the Participating Broadcasters, for as long as local legislation allows such a reimbursement. The budget is overlooked and approved by the Reference Group, on behalf of all Participating

What is the mission of the Contest?

The Eurovision Song Contest is a long running non-political, entertainment event which is designed to bring audiences and countries together.

The original idea in 1956 was to offer all Members of the EBU, the world’s leading alliance of public service media, an exciting yearly entertainment television show to take part in and to test the limits of live television broadcast technology.

Over the past 65 years the event has grown from 7 participating broadcasters to over 40 with semi-finals taking place since 2004.

Given the scale of the show and the hours of content available, the Eurovision Song Contest offers excellent value for money for EBU Members and huge excitement and enjoyment for millions of fans worldwide.

On what values is the Contest based?

The Eurovision Song Contest’s values are of universality and inclusivity and our proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music which is reflected in our global audiences of over 180 million.

How to Watch


Where can I watch the Eurovision Song Contest?

You can watch the Semi-Finals and Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest live on the channels of every participating country’s public broadcaster.

You can also watch the contest live, and later on demand, via the official YouTube channel, without commentary.

Please note that there are some areas that are geo-blocked and therefore YouTube streaming is not available in some territories including the United States where the 2019 competition is viewable on Netflix.

How many people watch the Eurovision Song Contest?

The Eurovision Song Contest, the world’s biggest live music event, was seen by over 180 million viewers in 2019. The 3 live shows from Tel Aviv reached around 182 million people across 40 markets.