Eurovision head says global contest a "challenge"
By Erik Kirschbaum
DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) - The Eurovision Song Contest has become so popular around the globe that there may be scope one day for a Worldvision Song Contest, executive supervisor Jon Ola Sand told Reuters.
The Norwegian director of the 56-year-old contest, watched this year from Germany by more than 125 million people in 55 countries around the world, said Eurovision manages to bring Europe together in a way similar to the Euro soccer tournament.
"This is the one moment that all of Europe shares -- across Europe, people watch and enjoy the same exact TV program," Sand said in Duesseldorf, where Azerbaijan won this year's contest early on Sunday morning. "It's a special moment."
He said the Euro soccer tournament also manages to unite Europe in front of their television sets but is held only once every four years -- making it less of a logistical challenge for broadcasters and organizers than running an annual competition.
There is also a World Cup soccer tournament every four years and the question was raised in Duesseldorf: what about holding a "Worldvision Song Contest?"
"Sure there's a World Cup," Sand said when asked about that in his temporary office in the Duesseldorf arena, a soccer stadium that was temporarily turned into a giant indoor TV studio. "A 'Worldvision Song Contest' would be great if we could do it. But it's not in the immediate plans.
"It's a huge logistics operation and you only have one year to prepare it," added Sand, who was appointed to run the European Broadcasting Union's contest in January.
"If we think out of the box I'm sure we could be able to put up something like that. But that's quite a challenge." Continued...