Eurovision 2023: Three Balkan countries pull out for economic reasons

eurovision Kalush Orchestra

A few days after the announcement that Montenegro and North Macedonia will not take part in the next Eurovision competition, which will take place in Liverpool despite Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra winning this years edition, Bulgaria also announced its abstention.

The organisation, according to the BBC cited the cost of joining.

National TV networks pay an amount each year to take part in Eurovision - as an entry fee - which varies according to the size of the country.

However, after Russia was kicked out of the competition due to the war in Ukraine and Britain took over the next event, the BBC announced that some countries had been asked to pay more to make up the difference as Russia's contribution covered a large part of the organisation.

The EBU - which organises the contest - has now confirmed the list of 37 participants for the 2023 competition.

Organisers told BBC News: "The EBU is committed to keeping the costs of taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest as affordable as possible.

"Each participating broadcaster pays a fee which is calculated based on the number of countries competing in that year's show and their overall contribution to membership of the EBU.

"Annual membership fees and subscriptions are calculated according to factors that take into account the member's relative size and financial status."

How much each participating broadcaster pays to enter is not made public, but the total cost between all entrants normally adds up to around £5m - with the host paying a further sum.

Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Montenegro all failed to make it past the semi-final stage of this year's song contest.

The BBC is expected to spend between £8m and £17m to stage the event next May, on behalf of Ukraine, who won this year's show.

Liverpool was chosen as the host city partly because of its "cultural offer that puts Ukraine at the heart" of next year's event, the BBC said.

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