Triangle and Stratos TV bring back iconic Eurovision Song Contest
The show that gave the world ABBA, Celine Dion, Cliff Richards, Julio Iglesias and even Riverdance is about to hit New Zealand television screens again in May.
The Eurovision Song Contest is viewed each year by more than 100 million people throughout the world. Now it is returning to New Zealand screens thanks to the canny courting of the European Broadcasting Union by a Kiwi TV doyen.
Jim Blackman, founder of the Triangle and Stratos Television channels, says the Eurovision Song Contest is a global television iconic event that’s been screening annuall for 53 years. ABBA, which won for Sweden in 1974, has been the most successful after taking the title. The group’s winning song, “Waterloo”, was in English and most winning songs have been performed in English.
“The Eurovision Song Contest screened in New Zealand more than three decades ago,” Blackman says. “Bringing it back fits with Triangle and Stratos’ mission to provide NZ viewers an alternate window on the world, something we already do through the English version of Al Jazeera, PBS and other news and programming.
“New Zealanders have quite sophisticated and varied viewing tastes, which we know our programmes are helping to satisfy. The Eurovision Song Contest will add to Triangle and Stratos’ smorgasbord.”
This year Eurovision (www.eurovision.tv ) is being staged May 12, 14 and 16 at Moscow’s Olimpiyski Indoor Arena, which holds 80,000 people. During the two semi-finals and final that make up the live show, more than nine million people are expected to call or text to vote support for their favourite acts. Those performers represent 42 countries. Twenty make the final to join five pre-qualified countries.
Blackman says Triangle and Stratos will screen a composite of last year’s semi-finals on May 3 and the 2008 finals on May 10 in the run up to this year’s event. The 2009 three hour final will be simulcast on Triangle and Stratos on May 17, less than 12 hours after it screens across the Northern Hemisphere.