Public broadcaster asks EBU for more time to come up with Eurovision cash

Kan granted two-week extension as government ministries deny responsibility

Temporary 2019 Eurovision logo (L) and Ayoub Kara (photo credit: COURTESY KAN & MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Temporary 2019 Eurovision logo (L) and Ayoub Kara
The Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation, which has the trade name Kan, is scrambling to come up with the budget necessary to secure next year’s Eurovision in Israel.
On Monday, the European Broadcasting Union agreed to Kan’s request for a two-week delay – until August 14 – to supply the €12 million deposit to guarantee hosting the competition.
After the delay was approved, Kan chairman Gil Omer sent an urgent letter to Communications Minister Ayoub Kara stating that it cannot meet this financial demand without assistance from the government.
Without government intervention, Omer wrote, Kan may find itself in “existential danger – and if the deposit is forfeited, we will find ourselves in a budget deficit that we cannot cover.” He said that Kan needs the government to work toward a solution to fund both the deposit and the total cost of the 2019 competition. Hosting the entire contest is expected to cost approximately €35 million.
Omer reiterated in his letter this week that Eurovision represents “a golden opportunity to reveal the beautiful face of Israel to the world.”
A spokesman for the Communications Ministry told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that it is the IPBC’s responsibility to come up with the funds. Kan’s budget for 2018 stood at NIS 747 million; hosting the contest next year could cost NIS 150 million.
“The IPBC is responsible for producing the Eurovision out of its own budget,” Kara said Tuesday. The minister said he “will make a special effort with the relevant authorities to allow the finance minister to grant a loan for the purpose of holding the competition.”
In regard to funding the competition as a whole, Kara said the Communications Ministry will have to hold meetings with Kan and the Finance Ministry before recommending a course of action to the government.
A spokesman for the Finance Ministry told the Post on Tuesday that it is not publicly discussing the issue.
A spokeswoman for Kan said Tuesday that the EBU called the August 14 deadline “a critical date for continuing the process.”