Zuzana Vicelova, speaking to Eurofestivales, reported that Slovakia could return to the Eurovision Song Contest as soon as 2025. This possibility follows a change in financing for RTVS by the Slovakian government. Slovakia has not been present at the Eurovision Song Contest since 2012, where Max Jason Mai came last in their semifinal with the song “Don’t Close Your Eyes”.
A new era dawns for RTVS
In the past, RTVS has cited low viewing figures, poor performance, and financial constraints as reasons for not returning to the contest; they have already confirmed that they will not participate in 2024. However, the Slovakian government has adopted a new method of subsidizing its national broadcaster–rather than imposing television licences, 0.17% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) will be allocated for RTVS operations.
The Slovakian lawmakers who introduced this change in December of last year argued that receiver licence fees were unfair, as they forced viewers who did not use public media to finance its operation. The budgeting change officially went into effect on 1. July, 2023.
The change results in an increase of €46 million to RTVS’ 2024 operating budget, with a total budget of €160 million for next year. However, Director General of RTVS Ľuboš Macha describes this change as not enough to reach the station’s strategic goals.
Slovakia’s future at Eurovision remains uncertain. The EBU requires high participation costs, and 2023 saw Bulgaria and Montenegro withdraw from the contest due to increased fees. However, some countries are returning; Luxembourg returns to the contest in 2024 after a 31-year hiatus, and Monaco’s new public broadcaster, launched this summer, opens doors to a potential Monegasque return.
Slovakia’s Eurovision journey
Slovakia debuted at Eurovision in 1994, and achieved their best result two years later with Marcel Palonder’s “Kym nas mas”, which placed eighteenth.
After taking an extended break from the contest in the 2000s, Slovakia returned in 2009 to less success, failing to qualify for the final for four consecutive years before withdrawing again. Their final entry in 2012 was Max Jason Mai’s “Don’t Close Your Eyes”, which finished last in its semi-final. One of their best-remembered entries from this era is Kristina Pelakova’s “Horehronie”, which finished 16th in its semi-final in 2010 and is a regular fixture on the year-end ESC 250 chart.
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News Source: Eurofestivales, TV Noviny
Photo Credit: EBU