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The latest on Madonna and YouTube geo-blocking

14 May 2019 at 15:30 CEST
EBU and KAN press conference 2019 Andres Putting
This week a joint press conference was held by the EBU and Host Broadcaster of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, KAN. Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest Jon Ola Sand from the EBU together with Zivit Davidovich, Executive Producer and Yuval Cohen, Show Producer, from KAN took questions from the attending media.

Do the EBU and KAN work well together?

Asked about how KAN and the EBU have worked together, Jon Ola Sand said: "We established a good relationship with KAN just days after Lisbon. We came here to Israel to prepare and it is important to start early. KAN is our newest member public service broadcaster and it’s good for me to know that what people see this week was made by KAN. There are 3 fantastic shows. We’ve had a lot of good discussions to make sure we have the song contest as it should be. It’s been very constructive with a lot of professional people here in Israel."

What about Madonna?

One of the first questions from the press was regarding the continued speculation about whether Madonna will appear in the Grand Final on Saturday.

Jon Ola Sand explained: "The EBU and KAN have never confirmed Madonna because we do not have a signed contract. If we don’t have a signed contract, she cannot perform on the stage. We are negotiating but if it’s not signed, it won't happen. We have an artist that would love to participate on the stage, but without the contract, it can’t happen."

Geo-blocking of Eurovision content in the USA and other countries.

Asked about why content on the official Eurovision Song Contest is still geo-blocked in the USA and many other countries, Mr. Sand explained: "The reason why we can’t show it in the USA is that YouTube doesn’t have a collecting society in the USA, so for copyright purposes, we cannot show content in the USA. YouTube needs to arrange a deal with a collecting society so that artists get paid."

Will the Eurovision 2020 schedule be announced earlier?

A question was asked about why rehearsals began on a Saturday this year instead of a Sunday as usual and when dates for next year's events will be announced. Jon Ola Sand said: "Because May is full of big sporting events, it is difficult to find days that are good to do the shows. It’s not good to go at the time of the German cup final or Champions League events. We also have to lock down the arena and event spaces, so it will likely be October again".