DR requests extra ESC funding
It sure is a different show that DR, the Danish national broadcaster, will be hosting next year, compared to their last hosting job in 2001.
Back then, the budget was an estimated 9.3 million euros for the one-night show. Now, the contest has expanded with 2 extra shows. This year, Sweden had a downsized budget which was still almost twice the 2001 budget, at roughly 16.5 million euros.
An extraordinary unpredictable event
This has caused DR to request extra funding from the surplus pool of annual license fee revenue, which currently holds about 8 million euros. DR wants to stage an ambitious show which is dependent on funding.
“It’s correct that DR has written a letter to the Ministry of Culture requesting to be considered when the relevant parties discuss the use of the surplus license fee money,” Maria Rørbye Rønn, Director General of DR, told MediaWatch. She adds that it is an extraordinary and unpredictable event that could not be predicted in the annual DR budget.
Up to the politicians
“We have applied for a share of the funds and now it is up to politicians to decide how much they want to contribute. Of course, I hope there is a political will to support the large task at hand which will literally invite all of Europe,” Rønn said.
It is the Ministry of Culture that will make the decision, influenced by the members of parliament. Some are skeptical, like Mette Bock of Liberal Alliance. “DR already has a large budget. Something unpredictable always happens, but their budget is big, so there must be some flexibility for unforeseen events,” she said to Danish TV-channel TV2. It is the opinion of Liberal Alliance that the surplus pool should be refunded to the taxpayers.
The Social Democrat Party, which currently is a ruling party of government, has a very different view. The party is ready to grant DR the extra cash to make the broadcaster able to create a spectacular show. “It’s definitely an unforeseen expense, so it makes sense using unintended revenue. My view is that DR should be granted the entire pool,” said Mogens Jensen, media spokesperson of the Social Democrats.
It is not yet known when the Ministry of Culture will decide on the funding.
Sources: DR, TV2, MediaWatch