Eurovision (network)

Eurovision is a pan-European television telecommunications network owned and operated by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). It was founded 1954 in Geneva, Switzerland, and its first official transmission took place on 6 June 1954.

HeadquartersGeneva, Switzerland
OwnerEuropean Broadcasting Union
Launch date
6 June 1954; 68 years ago (1954-06-06)
Official website

Major television broadcasts are distributed live through the Eurovision network to EBU members. Members share breaking news footage through the daily Eurovision news exchange (EVN). They also exchange television programmes through the network.

The EBU has also owned and operated a radio counterpart, Euroradio, since 1989.


The name "Eurovision" was originally coined by British journalist George Campey when writing for the Evening Standard, and was adopted by the EBU for its network.[1]

The first official Eurovision transmission took place on 6 June 1954. It broadcast the Narcissus Festival in Montreux, Switzerland, followed by an evening program from Rome, including a tour of the Vatican, an address from Pope Pius XII and an apostolic blessing.[2][3]

Eurovision is managed by the European Broadcasting Union’s Eurovision Operations Department and offers permanent coverage of Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, North Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, as well as ad-hoc coverage of the African continent and the Pacific Rim.

Not confined only to Europe, the EBU currently encompasses 75 television broadcasting organizations located in 56 countries of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. Furthermore, there are 61 associated broadcasting organizations in Europe, Africa, America, Asia, and Oceania.


The EBU in co-operation with the respective host broadcaster, organises competitions and events in which its Members can participate, if they wish to do so. These include:

Eurovision Song ContestEdit

The Eurovision Song Contest (French: Concours Eurovision de la Chanson)[4] is an annual international song competition that was first held in Lugano, Switzerland, on 24 May 1956. Seven countries participated – each submitting two songs, for a total of 14. This was the only contest in which more than one song per country was performed: since 1957 all contests have allowed one entry per country. The 1956 contest was won by the host nation, Switzerland.[5] In this competition, only countries that are members of the EBU can participate.[6] The first winner was Switzerland.

Let the Peoples SingEdit

Let the Peoples Sing is a biennial choir competition, the participants of which are chosen from radio recordings entered by EBU radio members. The final, encompassing three categories and around ten choirs, is offered as a live broadcast to all EBU members. The overall winner is awarded the Silver Rose Bowl.

Jeux sans frontièresEdit

Jeux sans frontières (English: Games Without Frontiers, or Games Without Borders) was a Europe-wide television game show. In its original conception, it was broadcast from 1965 to 1999 under the auspices of the EBU. The original series run ended in 1982 but was revived in 1988 with a different complexion of nations and was hosted by smaller broadcasters.

Eurovision Young MusiciansEdit

Eurovision Young Musicians is a competition for European musicians that are younger than 19 years old. It is organised by the EBU and is a member of EMCY. The first competition was held in Manchester, United Kingdom on 11 May 1982.

The televised competition is held every two years, with some countries holding national heats. Since its foundation in 1982, the Eurovision Young Musicians competition has become one of the most important music competitions on an international level.

Eurovision Young DancersEdit

The Eurovision Young Dancers was a biennial dance showcase broadcast on television throughout Europe. The first competition was held in Reggio Emilia, Italy, on 16 June 1985.

It uses a format similar to the Eurovision Song Contest, every country that is a member of the EBU has had the opportunity to send a dance act to compete for the title of "Eurovision Young Dancer". The act can be either a solo act or a dance couple, and all contestants must be between the ages of 16 and 21 years and not professionally engaged.

Junior Eurovision Song ContestEdit

Junior Eurovision Song Contest (French: Concours Eurovision de la Chanson Junior),[7] is an annual international song competition, that was first held in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 15 November 2003. Sixteen countries participated in the inaugural edition – each submitting one song, for a total of 16 entries. The 2003 contest was won by Croatia.

Eurovision Dance ContestEdit

The Eurovision Dance Contest (not to be confused with the Eurovision Young Dancers Competition) was an international dancing competition that was held for the first time in London, United Kingdom on 1 September 2007. The competition was repeated in 2008 when it was held in Glasgow, United Kingdom, but has not been held since.

Eurovision Magic Circus ShowEdit

The Eurovision Magic Circus Show was an entertainment show organised by the EBU, which began in 2010 and ended in 2012. Children aged between 7-14, representing countries within the EBU, performed a variety of circus acts at the Geneva Christmas Circus (French: Cirque de Noël Genève). The main show was also accompanied by the Magic Circus Show Orchestra.[8]

Eurovision ChoirEdit

Eurovision Choir (formerly Eurovision Choir of the Year) is a new event launched by the EBU, and the latest event to be launched since the Eurovision Magic Circus Show. The event consists of non-professional choirs who are members of the EBU, with the inaugural contest taking place on 22 July 2017, hosted by the Latvian broadcaster Latvijas Televīzija (LTV), coinciding with the closing ceremony of the European Choir Games 2017.[9] The contest returned for a second edition in 2019 staged in Gothenburg, Sweden.[10] In June 2021, Interkultur announced the cancellation of the contest. A broadcaster for the planned 2021 event had not been selected before the announcement.[11]

European Sports ChampionshipsEdit

The European Sports Championships is a multi-sport event involving some of the leading sports in Europe. The European Governing Bodies for athletics, swimming, cycling, rowing and triathlon, will co-ordinate their individual championships as part of the first edition[12] in the summer of 2018, hosted by the cities of Berlin (already chosen as the host for the 2018 European Athletics Championships) and Glasgow (already chosen as the host for the 2018 European Aquatics Championships, and which will now also host the events of the other sports).[13][14]

Eurovision Asia Song ContestEdit

The Eurovision Asia Song Contest was a proposed Asia-Pacific counterpart of the Eurovision Song Contest.[15] The inaugural contest was set to consist of only one show.[16] However, in 2021, SBS Commissioning Editor Josh Martin confirmed that the contest would not take place despite earlier plans.[17]

Other eventsEdit

Routine transmissions of sport and culture events amount to over 15,000 transmission hours per year. High-profile Eurovision events include:


Member broadcasting organisations also provide each other with news footage (over 30,000 separate news items per year) within the framework of the daily Eurovision News Exchanges (EVN). Eurovision also sponsors the annual broadcast news industry conference, News Xchange. Despite the similarity in name this has no direct connection with Eurovision News Exchanges.

Eurovision SportsEdit

Eurovision has offered free internet streaming of major sports events such as the London 2012 Olympics on its website, under the name Eurovision Sports.[19]

Eurovision Sports is also offering all FIFA World Cup coverage for 2018 and 2022,[20] and is providing coverage of the 2021 FINA World Swimming Championships.[21]

Eurosport was created in 1989 by the EBU as a method of exploiting the member stations' sports rights.

Transmission identEdit

Eurovision television transmissions may be recognised by the Eurovision ident and the opening theme of Marc-Antoine Charpentier's "Te Deum" which appears before and after the programme to indicate to viewers they are connected and watching via the Eurovision network. The most famous and well known times for this to occur is before and after the Eurovision Song Contest, although most contributed items, such as international relays of sports events, including the Olympics, are not thus credited and the general public is therefore mostly unaware of Eurovision's involvement.


  1. ^ Jefferson, Ed (11 May 2018). "How a 17th century war, the Queen and a desperate Swiss TV executive led to Eurovision". New Statesman. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  2. ^ "50 Years of Eurovision" (PDF). January 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 August 2016. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
  3. ^ "'Eurovision' Bows Ushering in Era". Variety. 2 June 1954. p. 1 – via
  4. ^ "Winners of the Eurovision Song Contest" (PDF). European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 26 December 2007.
  5. ^ "Historical Milestones". European Broadcasting Union. 2005. Archived from the original on 26 May 2006. Retrieved 26 May 2006.
  6. ^ "Rules". Eurovision Song Contest. European Broadcasting Union (EBU). 12 January 2017. Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  7. ^ "Official information page" (in French). European Broadcasting Union. 10 December 2007. Archived from the original on 28 September 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2008.
  8. ^ Burkhardt, Nadja (6 August 2012). "Eurovision Magic Circus Show". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  9. ^ Granger, Anthony (8 August 2016). "EBU to launch "Choir of the Year" contest". Eurovoix. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  10. ^ "Eurovision Choir of the Year 2019 to Be Held in Gothenburg". Eurovoix. 8 July 2018. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  11. ^ "Interkultur confirms Eurovision Choir 2021 is cancelled, no plans for a future edition". wiwibloggs. 28 June 2021. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  12. ^ "Leading sports bring together their European Championships in 2018" (PDF) (media release). 26 March 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 August 2015. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  13. ^ "European Athletics – Leading sports bring together their European championships in 2018". european-athletics. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  14. ^ "Rowing joins the innovative European Sports Championships". Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  15. ^ Jordan, Paul (18 August 2017). "The Greatest Song Contest in the World is coming to Asia!". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  16. ^ "Three cities interested in hosting Eurovision Asia". Eurovoix. 19 May 2017. Archived from the original on 5 August 2017. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  17. ^ Carter, Ford (25 May 2021). "SBS drops plans for Eurovision Asia". aussievision. Retrieved 26 May 2021.
  18. ^ "EBU – 2017 BBC Proms bow out in style". European Broadcasting Union. 6 September 2017. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  19. ^ "Eurovision Sports Live". Eurovision. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  20. ^ Union (EBU), European Broadcasting (30 March 2012). "EBU in European media rights deal with FIFA for 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups™". Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  21. ^ Sutherland, James (14 December 2021). "British Swimming Teams Up With Eurovision For SC Worlds Live Stream". SwimSwam. Retrieved 14 December 2021.

External linksEdit