The Reference Group decided to, as from 2012, restore the opening of the televoting window after the last song has been performed, instead of before the first song. Initially, the change was introduced to give viewers the opportunity to vote throughout the show like during many other television programmes, and to vote instantly when a song is on.
However, analysis of voting data shows that an overwhelming majority of viewers still votes after the last song. Another argument to drop the full-show voting is the appearance of graphics during the show, which take up as many as 25 percent of the screen due to the required legal information and thereby distracts from the artistic performance.
Even though analysis shows that full-show televoting does not put anyone in a competitive disadvantage and that the position in the running order does not favour contestants performing early in the show, the EBU does value the fact that some viewers perceive it as more fair to vote after all contestants have performed.
A decision about the length of the televoting window will be taken at a later stage in the lead up to the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, which is scheduled to take place on 22, 24 and 26 May in Azerbaijan.
Yuri Aksyuta (C1R), Executive Producer of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow, completed his term as Reference Group member, while Julian Vignoles (RTÉ) and Federico Llano (RTVE) saw their elected term end. Adil Kerimli of Ictimai TV from Azerbaijan joined the group, together with elected members Maarten Verhaegen from VRT, the broadcaster of the Flemish Community in Belgium, and Dejan Kukric from BHRT (Bosnia & Herzegovina). Christer Björkman from SVT in Sweden was re-elected for a two-year term, while Thomas Schreiber from NDR in Germany remains in the group until after the 2013 contest as Executive Producer of the 2011 contest in Düsseldorf. Bruno Berberes from France was elected for a one-year term.