Spanish broadcaster RTVE to show both semi-finals on lead channel for the first time ever
Ana María Bordas, former Spanish Head of Delegation and current Creative Director of Spanish public broadcaster RTVE, has announced that Spain will broadcast all shows of Eurovision 2022 on La 1, RTVE’s premier channel, for the first time ever.
The announcement took place slightly off the radar, with Bordas replying to Eurovision-Spain.com’s Vicente Rico in a tweet. The original tweet says: “This year, the semi-finals of Eurovision should be broadcast on La 1, I am sure this would increase the viewing figures in their time slots, draw in more viewers for Saturday and make the format more profitable”, with many of Spain’s leading broadcasters tagged. Bordas simply replies with: “It’s already planned.”
The news comes just a day after the announcement of the dismissal of Toñi Prieto as RTVE’s Entertainment Director, the position with the most responsibility over Spain’s Eurovision broadcast.
Between 2008 and 2013, with the exception of 2011, RTVE only broadcast the semi-final in which Spain had voting rights, and only on La 2, their secondary channel. As a result, RTVE’s independent stats suggest that a far greater proportion of the Spanish public is not aware that Eurovision semi-finals even exist, perhaps even more so than fellow Big 5 nations United Kingdom and Germany.
In 2009, Spanish Eurofans were left dismayed as La 2 decided to broadcast an overrun Madrid Open tennis match instead of the second Eurovision semi-final, which Spain was voting in, putting it on a hour’s delay instead. Many Spanish press outlets linked this to a downturn in points for representative Soraya Arnelas, who finished 24th despite being high in fan polls, with newspaper El Mundo believing it to have been deliberate.
For 2022, Spain is going all-out to pick its entrant, presumably off the back of the frustration of not winning the Contest since 1969, and a decade in which their average result was a disappointing 22nd place.
In 2021, Spain, once again, failed to impress, despite entrant Blas Cantó (pictured above) literally bringing the Moon on stage, as Voy a quedarme only garnered 6 points in the Grand Final, including a big fat doughnut from the televote.
Applications for Benidorm Fest, a reimagining of the Festival Internacional de la Canción de Benidorm, a Sanremo-inspired annual show that ran until 2006, are open until 29th October, and the shows themselves will take place in January and February 2022.
The announcement that all semi-finals will move to La 1 seems to be in-line with this new, revamped approach to Eurovision in Spain.