FYR Macedonia’s broadcaster MRT sanctioned by EBU putting Lisbon participation in doubt

The European Broadcasting Union has imposed sanctions on Macedonia Radio Television. These sanctions cast doubt on the country’s ability to participate in Lisbon next year. 

MRT confirmed their participation in Lisbon 2018 in September. However, the former Yugoslav country now faces the possibility of missing the event due to financial issues.

The sanctions are a consequence of MRT’s debt according to the EBU’s Senior Communications Officer, Claire Rainford. He stated: “Unfortunately, Macedonian Radio Television no longer has access to our services until it pays off its debt.” Rainford gave no specific amount for the total owed by the broadcaster. The money is owed to creditors within the country and abroad. Marjan Cvetkovski, General Manager for MRT, was unable to explain the reasons for the debt.

Sports championships

The decision by the EBU will also affect other programming as sanctions means the broadcaster can no longer carry programming by any EBU members. This includes sports championships, films, and television shows. The debt must be repaid for the sanctions to be lifted and for FYR Macedonia to take the stage in Portugal next year.