BBC may have to fork out millions of pounds in UK for hosting Eurovision 2023 - VIDEO -

7 August,

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BBC may have to fork out millions of pounds in UK for hosting Eurovision 2023 - VIDEO

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The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 being hosted in the UK could end up costing the BBC tens of millions of pounds despite huge cuts at the broadcaster, it’s been reported.
Yesterday, it was confirmed after much speculation that next year’s competition will be held in the UK, with Ukraine officially ruled out from being able to host the annual event despite winning the 2022 competition with Kalush Orchestra.
With the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the war that’s still being waged in the country, the BBC said in a statement: ‘It is a matter of great regret that our colleagues and friends in Ukraine are not able to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest.’
The broadcaster said that it is ‘committed to making the event a true reflection of Ukrainian culture alongside showcasing the diversity of British music and creativity’, while the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) stated: ‘Continuing in this tradition of solidarity, we know that next year’s Contest will showcase the creativity and skill of one of Europe’s most experienced public broadcasters whilst ensuring this year’s winners, Ukraine, are celebrated and represented throughout the event.’
According to The Times, hosting Eurovision next year could result in the BBC having to fork out tens of millions of pounds, which would follow suit with the costs host countries have faced in previous years.
The publication stated that the BBC would provide the funds for the majority of the costs, which came to a cost of $76million (£63m) in Azerbaijan in 2012, $53m (£44m) in Denmark two years later and approximately $35m (£29m) in Ukraine in 2017.
In May this year, Bloomberg reported that the BBC planned on cutting up to 1,000 members of staff over the next few years in a bid to save £500m annually.
Meanwhile, earlier this month the BBC said that the upcoming merger of BBC News and BBC World News to create a single 24-hour channel will result in 70 job cuts, while 20 on-screen and off-screen positions will be created in Washington DC.
Following the confirmation that the UK will host Eurovision 2023, a BBC spokesperson said in a statement: ‘The Eurovision Song Contest is a co-production of the host broadcaster and participating members of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
‘There are a number of funding options to be explored that will contribute towards delivering a fantastic event and great value for Licence Fee payers.’
It’s understood that various options will be considered to obtain third-party and commercial funding for the event, with the host city also expected to contribute and possibly also the government.
Which UK city could host Eurovision 2023?
After the announcement that the UK will be hosting Eurovision in 2023, with Ukraine officially ruled out, here are the top six cities likely to host the competition as it's broadcast by the BBC, according to bookmakers:
The SSE Arena at the Odyssey Complex in the Northern Irish city's Titanic Quarter boasts a 12,000-person capacity, and councillors Anthony Flynn and Seamas De Faoite have urged the city to put a bid forward.
The Welsh city's Principality Stadium, which held every FA Cup final between 2001 and 2006, can hold a whopping 74,000 people and comes equipped with a roof. The competition has never been held in Wales before.
Not only does Manchester's AO Arena have the ability to house 21,000 guests, but it's also extremely close to the BBC's main studio in Salford. However, Sir Elton John and Magic Mike shows are already scheduled to take place at the arena next May.
Birmingham has already proven it's capable of hosting Eurovision, having done so in 1998 when Katrina and the Waves' song Love Shine a Light won the previous year.
The English capital has hosted the competition four times in the past, the last time being back in 1977. The show could take place at the Wembley Arena, which has a capacity of 12,500 people, or the O2 Arena, which could hold 20,000 individuals.
The bookies' favourite is currently the Scottish city of Glasgow, with Edinburgh having hosted Eurovision in 1972. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has already suggested the city, which was named the UK's top cultural and creative city in 2019.
This week, cities across the UK are officially putting in their bids to host Eurovision 2023, with Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester among those believed to be top contenders.
Liverpool is also putting itself forward, with Councillor Harry Doyle, assistant mayor and cabinet member for culture and visitor economy, claiming that funding for the competition would come to around £2m in the city, which is famously known as the home of the Beatles.
Yesterday, Eurovision 2022 runner-up Sam Ryder shared a video message emphasising that the 2023 event is ‘Ukraine’s party’, but the UK is ‘just inviting them to throw it at our house’.
‘I know how much it meant to Kalush and the Ukrainian delegation that Eurovision would be held at home in Ukraine next year, and I’m not the only one whose heart is heavy knowing that can’t be the case at this moment in time’, he said.
‘But, what I would love to say to anyone watching this from Ukraine, is that we know how to throw a party here in the UK and our excitement is outshone only by our focus on that one sole objective – to hold space and to be on hand to help wherever needed, to host an event that celebrates Ukrainian culture, history, and music.’

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