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ESC Reporter | January 18, 2018

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It's official: Portugal withdrawing from Eurovision

It’s official: Portugal withdrawing from Eurovision
Alvaro Sanabria


The rumor was circulating in RTP, the Portuguese broadcaster for the Eurovision Contest for days.  And it was finally confirmed at the end of the second deadline given by the EBU to register in the 2016 festival: RTP won’t participate in the world’s biggest festival.

RTP decided not to approve a plan to revive their national selection Festival da Canção. 

According to, RTP’s administration questions the cultural and economic benefits of the Portuguese participation in the music event.  José Poiares left his office in RTP as the producer in charge of the Portuguese participation in 2014.

One year later, Portugal got one of their worse results in the event.  In addition to this, RTP is planning to organize their own Portuguese-speaking music festival and has oriented its 2016 budget to different sport events as well as the third season of The Voice Portugal.

In an interview with OGAE Portugal, José Lopes de Araújo, RTP’s Institutional Relations and Archive Director said that the broadcaster “expects to return to the competition in 2017 with a strategy, a well designed plan to compete with their European counterparts.”  A similar response was offered in 2013 when RTP decided not to participate in Malmö.

Portugal has participated in 48 editions of the Eurovision Song Contest.  This will be the fifth time that Portugal has withdrawn from the competition.  Portugal declined their participation in the 1970, 2000, 2002, and 2013 editions.


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