The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has withdrawn the membership services from Romanian broadcaster Televiziunea Română (TVR) due to a repeated non-payment of debts. This means Romania cannot take part in Eurovision 2016.
According to the EBU, the total debt is an amount of 16 million CHF. TVR mentions a slightly lower amount in its official declaration, but does not deny the debt altogether.
EBU had been attempting to restructure these debts since 2010 through payment plans, which TVR could not follow up on. Last week, a deadline given to the Romanian government to make satisfactory arrangements to repay the debt expired, resulting in the EBU withdrawing TVR’s membership rights.
“TVR will now no longer be able to participate in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest and will lose access to other EBU member services including the Eurovision News and Sports News Exchanges, the right to broadcast specific sporting events, legal, technical and research expertise and lobbying services,” so states the official EBU website.
Romania was set to take part in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm, with Ovidiu Anton as its performer. His song “Moment of Silence” will now not participate in the second semi final, in which he had been assigned the 12th starting position.
The show will continue as planned with one participant less in the second semi final. The runner order of this show on the 12th of May has remained the same.