The Israeli news site, Ynet, and our fellow Eurovision news site ESCXtra, are reporting that the Israeli host broadcasting company, the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corportation (IPBC) is on the the verge of forfeiting its rights to host the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) requires a guarantee of 12 Million Euros from the IPBC in order for them to proceed as hosts. However the IPBC has already requested one extension from the EBU following the payment originally being due and unpaid on 1st August. Ynet are now reporting that the next deadline of 14th August is imminent and no payment is believed to have yet been made. It was originally reported that the Israeli government had agreed to loan the broadcaster the money, however that does not seem to have happened.
Ynet have also published a letter from the chairman of the IPBC, Gil Omer, sent to the Israeli Prime Minister today, seeking assistance for funding to resolve the issue of the guarantee still being unpaid.
In the letter Mr Omer says:
In two days’ time, the Israel Broadcasting Corporation will be required to provide a guarantee of 12 million Euros to ensure the existence of the Eurovision 2019 competition in Israel, a point of no return. Unless there is a change that situation will arise and the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 will not be able to happen in Israel.
For the past two weeks I have been making great efforts to inform the decision makers of the obstacles we face in order to make every effort to resolve them. In various letters I sent during this period, I noted that we see great importance in the competition in Israel, both from the image and the economic point of view. Unfortunately, our repeated requests for intensive work to solve the major problems that stand in the way of competition in Israel have not been answered.
The report from YNet also details how the the IPBC have outlined that they would need to cut over 200 jobs to fund the deposit or significantly cut back on the production of original programming. The government itself has not yet buckled to this pressure.
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