According to Jon Ola Sand, the EBU’s Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, Portugal is ahead of schedule for the upcoming contest in Lisbon in May 2018. The Norwegian television executive has confirmed this to ESC Daily.
“The preparations are going very well,” says Sand about the host broadcaster RTP, when we spoke him at the JESC 2017 in Tbilisi. “They are well on schedule and have delivered everything we need according to the timeline. They will be ready, on certain topics they are even ahead on the schedule.”
For RTP it is a new sensation to get the honour of hosting the biggest music competition in the world. Portugal never won the contest before and will be the host for the first time in history. Making them experience that there is more hosting the Eurovision Song Contest than the things everybody can see on their screens. “It is so much more than just the three tv shows. Their biggest challenge is a mix, I cannot point out one or two things. To get the finances and the team ready and get the city involved, that takes time. But they have managed to do all this so far.”
Different from Kiev
Portugal’s early progress is a big change, when compared to the preparations for the contest in Kiev in 2017. Many financial and legal issues were giving the organization a lot of headaches. Because of a clash with a Memorial Day, the contest had to be rescheduled in a early phase, making the contest clash with international football matches and hurting the viewing figures. Even one month before the contest, there were still talks about rescheduling the contest again, also due to logistic issues.