Düsseldorf 2011: EBU holds press conference on Semi Final technical issues

This afternoon at 13:30 CET, the European Broadcasting Union held a press conference to discuss the technical issues surrounding last night’s broadcast of the first semi final.

The NDR and EBU has expressed their regret about the technical issues that occurred last night, including the general sound issues as well as the specific issues with the commentators. Early in the show, there were signs that something was going wrong between the booths and the main audio switch, and consequently, the commentator audio for at least over ten countries began to fail, though not all at the same time. As a result, many countries took measures such as using their mobile phones in connection with their respective broadcasters.

After the show, high-level discussions went on between NDR, the EBU and the audio company, who have advised that extra levels of redundancy will be put in place for the remaining broadcasts, including an extra backup system and extra staff. Tonight the company will also run a ‘stress-test’ on the system with all countries involved.

Jan Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest advised that the EBU was very disappointed in the situation, but were satisfied that tonight’s stress-test should iron out any remaining problems that may occur within the system.

An additional question was fielded from Sweden’s SVT, who advised that a further issue was present in the stereo soundtrack for the show itself, however the response from the panel was that they considered that no further issues were present in the audio systems used for the contest apart from the commentator audio issue.

No official complaints have been received from any country in relation to the audio issues in last night’s show, and the EBU have advised that the exisitng result cannot be challenged.