The head of TVE has spoken in the Spanish Parliament and gave figures about the cost of the Eurovision Song Contest for Spain and the future of the country in the competition, and although nothing was confirmed for 2014, it seems that TVE has found a way to make the Eurovision Song Contest profitable even though the Spanish broadcaster is suffering severe cuts.
Leopoldo González-Echenique, head of TVE, replied to the questions of Ricardo Sixto, a member of the Spanish Parliament in the left-wing coalition Izquierda Unida. Mr. Sixto had asked about the total cost of the Eurovision Song Contest for TVE and the reason why “Spain can win a football World Cup but is unable to reach a top 10 position in the Eurovision Song Contest.” Some Spanish media websites such as ElMundo.es or Vanitatis.com have published their declarations today.
Mr. González-Echenique gave the figures of the total cost of the ESC for TVE: in 2013, Spain spent almost 400,000 EUR (398,615.93 EUR). If you compare it with the figures of 2012 in Baku (427,613.99 EUR), the costs have been reduced, even with an increased VAT. Also figures from the last 5 contests have been released, but there are no big differences: the most expensive year was 2012 with Pastora Soler and the “cheapest” one was 2009, with Soraya Arnelas in Moscow (338,960.21 EUR). In total, TVE spent around 2 million EUR in the last 5 years. This is not a high figure compared to other countries. González-Echenique said that “considering the high viewing ratings of the Contest, the overall cost is low” and “TVE is trying to make everything as cheap as possible and we are using sponsors as well.”
Nothing was asked about the continuity or not of Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest, but Mr. Sixto asked as well about the National Final and if TVE will allow the audience to choose the artist. González-Echenique said that it was “too soon” to talk about it but reminded that during the last years, the Spanish audience had the possibility to choose the artist (the last time was in 2011, when Lucía Pérez was chosen) and even with the internal selection the audience is still able to choose the song (like with Pastora Soler and ESDM).
González-Echenique also said that they try to remember every year all the artists that represented Spain in the previous years, although sometimes it is “impossible” due to lack of time. Some artists like Soraya Arnelas had complained that TVE had put them in a “black list” and that their performances were never remembered in those recaps “like it never happened”.
After these statements, it seems that TVE does not want to leave the Contest (good news, specially after reading that Croatia will not be in next year), but it seems as well that Spanish fans cannot expect big surprises about their 2014 Eurovision entry. Anyway, it is positive that the figures have been released and it proves that the Eurovision Song Contest is still a profitable show.