The World Song Contest

Journalist Frank Peters, who missed out on Eurovision 2000, sent me this story about a new song contest:

Eurovision Song Contest days are numbered

By Frank Peters in London

The Eurovision Song Contest will be dwarfed by a new song contest next year. Britain will host the biggest song contest in the history of television around October. The contest will have an estimated viewing audience of two BILLION people which will dwarf the existing, although enviable, Eurovision TV viewership of just over 300 million. The show will also be transmitted live via the Internet.

The contest, which is tentatively called The World Song Contest, is being co-ordinated by Mike Mansfield TV Productions in London and will be staged at The Royal Albert Hall.

The show will be televised by commercial TV stations, and not by state-owned television channels throughout the world.

In Ireland, TV3 are likely to pick up the option which undoubtedly would beat all that RTE would throw at it on the night.

A spokesman for Mike Mansfield TV Productions, Mr Hilary McLaren-Tipping, said: "The contest is set to run for an initial period of five-years. During that time its success will be fully assessed and a decision will be made about its future, but it¹s guaranteed a five-year run at least. This is not in competition to the Eurovision Song Contest, I think there¹s ample room for both", he added.

Initially The Eurovision Song Contest was produced as a one-off. Forty-five years later it¹s pulling viewing audiences never before imagined, but the World Song Contest will make it look pygmy in comparison. Melbourne-based Corkman Mike Bowen of Global Events Management and president of The Australian Songwriters Association Inc. welcomes the new contest. Mr Bowen, who concepted and introduced televoting to Eurovision, and for almost three years worked with the European Broadcasting Union on making the ESC a world song contest, said: "The ESC, as we know it, has run its course. We tried bringing the contest to Australia and Asia to expand its appeal globally and dramatically increase its audience, but the people we encountered at the top were too set in their ways and opposed any change to their cozy niches."

"The Eurovision Song Contest has been a junket for the hierarchy at RTE, BBC, and other European state-owned networks for decades. If Eurovision were a private enterprise, it would have gone burst years ago. It has had a phenomenally bad strike rate. The powers that be have been milking the sacred cow for years, without producing commercial successes. It¹s doing absolutely nothing to forward music or advance an artist¹s progress. It¹s lacks quality, depth, integrity, and respect. It¹s no longer relevant. Terry Wogan sums it up aptly by his laughter. In view of the new contest announcement, if the Eurovision Song Contest, is to see out the decade, it will have to undergo drastic changes and become more representative of what¹s actually happening in the music scene."

The spokesman for the contest said other details of the contest would not be released until a PR company is engaged later this year.

Thanks to Frank Peters