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Thursday, May 23, 2024

NRK took a loss on Eurovision

Revenues from the Eurovision Song Contest ended up under budget, leaving Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) with a loss estimated at as much as NOK 5 million. Some of it is being blamed on Iceland’s volcano.

NRK chief Hans-Tore Bjerkaas said that NRK’s costs came in about as expected, at around NOK 200 million (USD 32 million).

Ticket revenue, however, did not meet expectations, in part because many tickets for the final on May 29 were returned by buyers fearing they wouldn’t be able to fly to Oslo because of ash clouds from Iceland’s erupting volcano at the time.

Bjerkaas stressed that the preliminary loss estimate is still rough. It may grow if the state Ministry of Culture refuses to pay a security bill for NOK 10.3 million sent to NRK by the Asker og Bærum Police District. NRK maintains that Eurovision was a national event and that police protection was a public responsibility.

Asked by newspaper Aftenposten whether he thinks Eurovision was worth the effort and expense, Bjerkaas laughed and said “the answer has to be ‘yes.’ It went well and we have managed to carry it off as planned.”

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