Norway: Plans for Eurovision Song Contest 2010 full speed ahead
The Norwegian media is now full of reports of plans for the country hosting next year’s Eurovision Song Contest after Alexander Rybak won with Fairytale in Moscow only last Saturday. Allegedly a preliminary budget has been agreed upon and suitable host venues will be inspected by the European Broadcasting Union very soon. Television bosses are though asking for the preliminary date of 22 May to be changed, as it clashes with a major football match whose date has been known for two years.
Dagbladet newspaper reports that discussion have been already happening between the Norwegian Minister for Culture Mr. Trond Giske and the head of the host broadcaster NRK, Mr. Hans-Tore Bjerkaas. They are reported to have agreed on a budget of 150 million Norwegian Kroner (17 mill. EUR), which is less than the Moscow budget, but more than the 13 million EUR budget of the Helsinki event in 2007, says Dagbladet.
Biggest daily newspaper Aftenposten says on their website that the search for suitable venues to host the contest in Norway is underway. The paper reports that The executive supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, Mr. Svante Stockselius, will already next week personally inspect some suitable venues. Minister for Culture Trond Giske and head of NRK Hans-Tore Bjerkaas told a press conference that the EBU has strict minimum demands for the venue. They also maintain, that no new venue will be built, but a suitable one will be found amongst the existing ones. This according to Aftenposten will already put Tromsø, Trondheim and Stavanger out of the running, even if they all had shown interest. There are only four suitable venues in Norway: Telenor Arena in Bærum near Oslo, Vallhall in Oslo, Oslo Spektrum and as an emergency Vikingskipet in Hamar.
EBU announced May 22 to be the preliminary date for the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 final last week in Moscow. As has been reported before, that date clashes with the UEFA Champions League football final. That date has been set two years ago and will not be changed, UEFA tells Aftenposten. The Sports Executive for Viasat, Mr. Stian Aune Kleppo, whose company has the rights to transmit the UEFA games in Norway also adds that EBU is responsible for the TV signals for both events and is demanding that the Eurovision Song Contest final is moved. Head of programming at NRK, Mr. Per Arne Kalbakk, seems to agree. He says it is a shame to have two big events on the same night. But the Norwegian arrangers are also adamant to keep the preliminary date to be able to integrate the celebrations of the Norwegian Constitution Day on May 17 to the Eurovision week.