The winter General Assembly of the European Broadcasting Union is taking place in Lausanne, Switzerland. The date coincides with a key milestone in the planning of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest and the EBU have met with representatives of the Host Broadcaster NTU to discuss plans for the forthcoming show.
Both NTU and the Reference Group, the governing body of the Eurovision Song Contest, have been candid in stating that there have been challenges with organising the forthcoming competition in Ukraine. Apart from finding a suitable venue, there were also legislation issues that needed to be solved as well as budgetary considerations to be addressed.
Jon Ola Sand, the Executive Supervisor stated that NTU and the authorities in Kyiv have made good progress over the last weeks and this will be closely monitored moving forward. He added that the core team at NTU are now in place and that the Reference Group have full confidence in them to overcome the challenges that remain. Jon Ola Sand said:
"Over the two last weeks a lot has been done from the Ukrainian side both from the authorities and from NTU. We are fully satisfied with what we have seen and what they presented to us in the meeting yesterday. I know there has been a lot of debate about this and a lot of speculations around this. We have had a firm and good dialog, an open dialog with NTU all the way. What they presented now was expected and we’re very happy to tick that off and make sure we have the progression we need"
Victoria Romanova, Executive Producer of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest said:
"I’m glad to confirm that NTU has the sufficient budget to hold the contest next year in Ukraine. In particular we will receive 15 million Euros from the state of Ukraine and in addition to this we will receive 7 million Euros from the Kyiv city administration as the contribution of the host city. We have already received the amount from the Kyiv city administration and we have already started the preparations".
Last week Victoria Romanova and Oleksander Kharebin were announced as Executive Producers and Stuart Barlow as the Show Producer for 2017. With the core team at NTU now in place, work has started on the production of the show including the stage design as well as the postcards and theme artwork. The process of ticket sales is most likely to begin in January.
The next Reference Group meeting will take place in Kyiv in January, along with the Semi-Final Allocation Draw. The 2017 Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Kyiv's International Exhibition Centre on 9th, 11th and 13th May 2017.