Eurovision Song Contest

The Eurovision Song Contest has been broadcast every year since its inauguration in 1956 and is one of the longest-running television programmes in the world. It is also one of the most-watched non-sporting events in the world,  with audience figures having been quoted in recent years as anything between 100 million and 600 million internationally. So join us on Stratos and Triangle as we celebrate the 2011 competition.

Starting on Sunday the 8th of May Stratos will broadcast the 2010 final at 8pm. Followed in the week by the two Semi Final events, on Wednesday the 11th and Friday the 13th at 8pm. The Grand Final will be shown on Sunday the 15th of May at 8pm.

For Triangle viewers the Semi Finals will be broadcast at 8:30 on Thursday the 12th and 7:30 on Friday the 13th of May, followed by the Grand Final at 8:30 on Sunday the 15th.

The world’s biggest party is back with greater glam and shorter skirts – Eurovision Song Contest returns to Stratos TV (Freeview channel 21) from May 11.

Competition is fierce as glitter, big hair, over the top costumes and incredible voices come together in this massive entertainment spectacle.

The first semi-final airs at 8pm on Wednesday, May 11 on Stratos TV. This will be followed by the second semi-final on Friday, May 13 at 8pm which will lead up to the grand final on Sunday May, 15 at 8pm. All the shows screen on the day of the contest.

With Facebook fans calling for the show to be aired in New Zealand, avid fan Aaron Halliwell is one of the keen supporters of the show.

“It’s unashamedly entertaining,” says Aaron. “I love how Eurovision brings acts from across Europe in a variety of languages together.”

Eurovision is viewed by more than 100 million people each year with more than nine million people expected to call or text to vote support for their favourite acts. Those performers represent 42 countries. Twenty then go on to make the final and join five other pre-qualified countries.

Jim Blackman, CEO of Stratos Television, says the Eurovision Song Contest is a global television iconic event that’s been screening annually 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 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,” Jim says.

In the run up to this year’s event Stratos will be replaying the 2010 final on Sunday, May 7 a week prior to the 2011 final.

This year Eurovision is being staged at Fortuna Düsseldorf’s arena in Germany.

Eurovision winners include Celine Dion, Cliff Richards, Julio Iglesias and even Riverdance.

Well done Stratos, and thank you for showing the Eurovision Song Contest. I watched it in full and enjoyed all of it, even the rubish songs (Russia).

Well Done