The Eurovision Song Contest has a short but wild history in New Zealand.
Unlike our friends in Australia who have broadcasted the Contest since 1983, the first ESC final hit the airwaves in New Zealand in 2009. The 2009 contest (a good year thanks to our dear Alexander Rybak) was broadcast on a 12-hour delay, before it was delayed even further in 2010 and 2011 to June and July, respectively!
In 2011, the local broadcaster Stratos Television closed due to funding difficulties and so the Eurovision Song Contest went with it.
It wasn’t until 2014 that the Contest returned to New Zealand screens on pay-TV channel UKTV, operated by the BBC. Sadly, it wasn’t to last, as the channel announced it would not air the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. The show was made available to viewers via the EBU’s livestream on YouTube.
Yet, we remain hopeful that the Song Contest will make its return to the Kiwi airwaves. We’ll be having words with the local broadcasters…