European Broadcasting Union
|File:European Broadcasting Union logo.svg|
Countries with one or more members are in dark blue. Associated members in light blue.
|Type||Union of broadcasting organisations|
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU; French: Union européenne de radio-télévision, UER) is an alliance of public service media entities, established on the 12 February 1950. As of 2014, the organisation comprises 72 Active Members in 56 countries, and 37 Associate Members from a further 22 countries. Most EU states are part of this organisation and therefore EBU has been subject to supranational legislation and regulation. It also hosted debates between candidates for the European Commission presidency for the 2014 parliamentary elections but is unrelated to the institution itself. It is best known for producing the Eurovision Song Contest.
- 1 General description
- 2 History
- 3 Technical activities
- 4 Members
- 5 Organised events
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 Notes
- 9 External links
Members of the EBU are radio and television companies, most of which are government-owned public service broadcasters or privately owned stations with public service missions. Active Members come from as far north as Iceland and as far south as Egypt, from Ireland in the west and Azerbaijan in the east, and almost every nation from geographical Europe in between. Associate Members are from countries and territories beyond Europe, such as Canada, Japan, Mexico, India and Hong Kong. Associate Members from the United States include ABC, CBS, NBC, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Time Warner, and the only individual station, Chicago-based classical music station WFMT.
Active Members are those paying EBU members meeting all technical criteria for full membership, whose states are either within the European Broadcasting Area (EBA) or members of the Council of Europe. Syria is an example of a country within the EBA not complying with all technical criteria for full membership, and thus it is currently only granted Associated Membership.
The EBU's highest profile production is the Eurovision Song Contest, organised by its Eurovision Network. The Eurovision Network also organises the Eurovision Dance Contest, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, the Eurovision Young Dancers competition, and other competitions for young musicians and screenwriters, which are modelled along similar lines. The countries represented in the EBU also cooperate to create documentaries and (animated) children's programming.
Radio collaborations include Euroclassic Notturno – an overnight classical music stream, produced by BBC Radio 3 and broadcast in the United Kingdom as Through the Night – and special theme days, such as the annual Christmas music relays from around Europe.
Most EBU broadcasters have a group deal to carry the Olympics and FIFA World Cup (particularly, the games of their country and the Final). Another annually recurring event which is broadcast across Europe through the EBU is the Vienna New Year's Concert.
The theme music played before EBU broadcasts is Marc-Antoine Charpentier's Prelude to Te Deum. It is well known to Europeans as it is played before and after the Eurovision Song Contest and other important events.
The EBU was a successor to the International Broadcasting Union (IBU) that was founded in 1929 and had its administrative headquarters in Geneva and technical office in Brussels. It fostered programming exchanges between members and mediated technical disputes between members that were mostly concerned with frequency and interference issues. It was in effect taken over by Nazi Germany during the Second World War and when the conflict ended in the eyes of the Allies it was a compromised organisation that they could not trust. In the spring of 1946 representatives of the Soviet radio committee proposed forming a new organisation; however at the same time preparations were being made for an inter-governmental “European Broadcasting Conference” (EBC) in Copenhagen in 1948 to draw up a new plan for frequency use in the European Broadcasting Area (EBA). It was considered necessary to have an organisation that could implement the “Copenhagen Wavelength Plan” but there was disagreement among broadcasters and particularly a fear expressed by the BBC that a new association might be dominated by the USSR and its proposal to give each of its constituent states one vote. France proposed that it would have four votes with the inclusion of its North African colonies. Great Britain felt it would have little influence with just one vote. On 27th June 1946 the alternative International Broadcasting Organisation (IBO) was founded with 26 members and without British participation. The following day the IBU met in General Assembly and an attempt was made to dissolve it but failed; though 18 of its 28 members left to join the IBO. For a period of time in the late 1940 both the IBU and IBO vied for the role of organising frequencies but Britain decided to be in involved in neither. The BBC attempted but failed to find suitable working arrangements with them. However for practical purposes the IBO rented the IBU technical centre in Brussels and employed its staff. The BBC then proposed a new solution based on the IBO changing its constitution so there will be only one member per ITU country, thus ensuring a Western majority over the USSR and its satellite states. In August 1949 a meeting took place in Stresa, Italy but it resulted in disagreement between delegates on how to resolve the problems. One proposal was for the European Broadcasting Area to be replaced by one that would exclude Eastern Europe, the Levant and North Africa. After Stresa a consensus emerged among the Western Europeans to form a new organisation and the BBC proposed it be based in London. Meetings in Paris on 31st October and 1st November 1949 sealed the fate of the IBU and IBO, but it was decided not to allow West Germany to be a founder of the new organisation. On 13th February 1950 the European Broadcasting Union has its first meeting with 23 members from the ITU defined European Broadcasting Area at the Imperial Hotel in Torquay, England while storms battered the town. The first president was Ian Jacob of the BBC who remained at the helm for 10 years while its operation was largely dominated by the BBC due to its financial, technical and staff input. The most important difference between the EBU and its predecessors was that EBU membership was for broadcasters and not to governments. Early delegates said EBU meetings were cordial and professional and very different from the abrupt tone of its predecessors. West Germany was admitted in 1951 and a working relationship forged with the USSR’s Organisation for International Radio and TV (OIRT) which existed in parallel with the EBU until its merger in 1993. (Source: Diffusion, Journal of the EBU, ‘50 years of the EBU’, Winter 1999/2000).
The first co-production was the animated series The Animals of Farthing Wood from 1993 based on the books of the same title by Colin Dann. The second animated collaboration was Noah's Island from 1997 and more recently, Pitt and Kantrop. Another important EBU programme is Jeux Sans Frontières.
The objective of the EBU's technical activities is simply to assist EBU Members (see below) in this period of unprecedented technological changes. This includes provision of technical information to Members via conferences and workshops, as well as in written form (such as the EBU Technical Review, and the EBU tech-i magazine).
The EBU also encourages active collaboration between its Members on the basis that they can freely share their knowledge and experience, thus achieving considerably more than individual Members could achieve by themselves. Much of this collaboration is achieved through Project Groups which study specific technical issues of common interest: for example, EBU Members have long been preparing for the revision of the 1961 Stockholm Plan.
The EBU places great emphasis on the use of open standards. Widespread use of open standards (such as MPEG-2, DAB, DVB, etc.) ensures interoperability between products from different vendors, as well as facilitating the exchange of programme material between EBU Members and promoting "horizontal markets" for the benefit of all consumers.
EBU Members and the EBU Technical Department have long played an important role in the development of many systems used in radio and television broadcasting, such as:
- The AES/EBU digital audio interface, formally known as AES3;
- Serial and parallel interfaces for digital video (ITU-R Recommendations 601 and 656);
- RDS – the Radio Data System used on FM broadcasting.
- The EBU Loudness Recommendation R 128 and 'EBU Mode' meters (EBU Tech 3341)
The EBU has also actively encouraged the development and implementation of:
- Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) through Eureka Project 147 and the WorldDAB Forum;
- Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) through the DVB Project and DigiTAG;
- Digital radio in the bands currently used for AM broadcasting through DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale);
- Standardisation of PVR systems through the TV-Anytime Forum.
- Development of other content distribution networks on the internet through P2PTV; EBU Project Group D/P2P, from November 2007 to April 2008, with a trial of selected member channels, thanks to Octoshape's distribution platform. The EBU is also part of the European P2P-Next project.
Greek state broadcaster controversy of 2013
The Greek government shut down the state broadcaster ERT on 11 June, at short notice, citing government spending concerns related to the Euro crisis. In response, the European Broadcasting Union set up a makeshift studio on the same day, near the former ERT offices in Athens, in order to continue providing EBU members with news-gathering and broadcast relay services that had formerly been provided by ERT.
The EBU put out a statement expressing its "profound dismay" at the shutdown, urged the Greek Prime Minister "to use all his powers to immediately reverse this decision" and offered the "advice, assistance and expertise necessary for ERT to be preserved". As of 4 May 2014, the New Hellenic Radio, Internet and Television (NERIT) broadcaster started nation wide transmissions, and overtook ERT's vacant Active Membership slot in EBU.
The active member list as of May 2014, comprised the following 73 broadcasting companies from 56 countries.
|Country||Broadcasting organisation||National script||Abbr.||Year|
|23x15px Albania||Radio and Television of Albania||Radio Televizioni Shqiptar||RTSH||1999|
|23x15px Algeria|| Etablissement public de Télévision Algérienne,
Enterprise nationale de radiodiffusion,
| المـؤسـسـة العمومية للتـلـفزيـون,
|23x15px Andorra||Radio and Television of Andorra||Ràdio i Televisió d'Andorra||RTVA||2002|
|23x15px Armenia|| Public Radio of Armenia and
Public Television of Armenia
| Հայաստանի Հանրային Ռադիո,
Հայաստանի հանրային հեռուստաընկերություն
|23x15px Austria||Austrian Broadcasting||Österreichischer Rundfunk||ORF||1953|
|23x15px Azerbaijan||Public TV and Radio||İctimai Televiziya və Radio Yayımları Şirkəti||İTV||2007|
|23x15px Belarus||Belarusian Radio and Television Company|| Нацыянальная дзяржаўная
тэлерадыёкампанія Рэспублікі Беларусь
|23x15px Belgium|| Flemish Radio & Television Network and
Radio and Television of Belgian French
| Vlaamse Radio-en Televisieomroep,
Radio-Télévision Belge Francophone
|23x15px Bosnia and Herzegovina||Radio and Television of Bosnia and Herzegovina|| Radio-televizija Bosne i Hercegovine
Радио-телевизија Босне и Херцеговине
|23x15px Bulgaria||Bulgarian National Radio||Българско национално радио||BNR||1993|
|Bulgarian National Television||Българска национална телевизия||BNT||1993|
|23x15px Croatia||Croatian Radiotelevision||Hrvatska radiotelevizija||HRT||1993|
|23x15px Cyprus||Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation|| Greek: Ραδιοφωνικό Ίδρυμα Κύπρου
Turkish: Kıbrıs Radyo Yayın Kurumu
|23x15px Czech Republic||Czech Radio||Český rozhlas||ČR||1994|
|Czech Television||Česká televize||ČT||1994|
|23x15px Denmark||Danish Broadcasting Corporation||Danmarks Radio||DR||1950|
|23x15px Egypt||Egyptian Radio and Television Union||إتحاد الإذاعة و التليفزيون المصري||ERTU||1985|
|23x15px Estonia||Estonian Public Broadcasting||Eesti Rahvusringhääling||ERR||1993|
|23x15px Finland||Finnish Broadcasting Corporation|| Finnish: Yleisradio
|23x15px France||Groupement des Radiodiffuseurs Français de l'UER||GRF||1950|
|Europe 1||Europe 1||E1||1978|
|23x15px Georgia||Georgian Public Broadcaster||საქართველოს საზოგადოებრივი მაუწყებელი||GPB||2005|
|23x15px Germany||German National Broadcasting||Arbeitsgemeinschaft der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten der Bundesrepublik Deutschland||ARD||1952|
|Second German Television||Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen||ZDF||1963|
|23x15px Greece||New Hellenic Radio, Internet and Television||Νέα Ελληνική Ραδιοφωνία, Ίντερνετ και Τηλεόραση||NEPIT||2014|
|23x15px Hungary||Hungarian Media Group:||
(merged in 2014)
|Template:Country data Iceland||National Broadcasting Service||Ríkisútvarpið||RÚV||1956|
|23x15px Ireland||Raidió Teilifís Éireann||Raidió Teilifís Éireann||RTÉ||1950|
|TG4||TG4 Teilifís na Gaeilge||TG4||2007|
|Template:Country data Israel||Israel Broadcasting Authority||רָשׁוּת השׁידוּר||IBA||1957|
|23x15px Italy||Italian Radio-Television||Radiotelevisione Italiana||RAI||1950|
|Template:Country data Jordan||Jordan Radio and Television Corporation||التلفزيون الأردني||JRTV||1970|
|23x15px Latvia||Latvian Television||Latvijas Televīzija||LTV||1993|
|Latvian Radio||Latvijas Radio||LR||1993|
|23x15px Lebanon||Télé Liban||تلفزيون لبنان||TL||1950|
|23x15px Libya||Libya National Channel||-||LNC||2011|
|23x15px Lithuania||Lithuanian National Radio and Television||Lietuvos Radijas ir Televizija||LRT||1993|
|23x15px Luxembourg||CLT MultiMedia||Compagnie Luxembourgeoise de Télédiffusion||CLT (RTL)||1950|
|Radio 100,7||Radio 100,7||ERSL||1996|
|23x15px Macedonia||Macedonian Radio Television||Македонска радио телевизија||MKRTV||1993|
|23x15px Malta||Public Broadcasting Services||Public Broadcasting Services||MT/PBS||1970|
|23x15px Monaco||Groupement de Radiodiffuseurs Monégasques||TMC/GRMC||1950|
|23x15px Montenegro||Radio & Television of Montenegro|| Radio televizija Crne Gore
Радио телевизија Црне Горе
|23x15px Morocco||Société Nationale de Radiodiffusion et de Télévision||الشركة الوطنية للإذاعة والتلفزة||SNRT||1969|
|23x15px Netherlands||Netherlands Public Broadcasting||Nederlandse Publieke Omroep||NPO||1950|
|23x15px Norway||Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation||Norsk Rikskringkasting AS||NRK||1950|
|23x15px Poland||Polish Radio and Television|| Polskie Radio i Telewizja:
|23x15px Portugal||Radio and Television of Portugal||Rádio e Televisão de Portugal||RTP||1950|
|23x15px Romania||Romanian Radio Broadcasting Company||Societatea Română de Radiodifuziune||ROR||1993|
|Romanian Television||Televiziunea Română||RO/TVR||1993|
|23x15px Russia||Channel One Russia||Первый канал||C1R||1996|
|All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company||Всероссийская государственная телевизионная и радиовещательная компания||RTR||1993|
|Radio Dom Ostankino:|| Radio Dom Ostankino:
|23x15px San Marino||Radio-Television of San Marino||Radiotelevisione della Repubblica di San Marino||SMTV||1995|
|23x15px Serbia||Radio Television of Serbia||Радио-телевизија Србије||RTS||2001|
|23x15px Slovakia||Radio and Television Slovakia||Rozhlas a televízia Slovenska||RTVS||2011|
|23x15px Slovenia||Radio-Television of Slovenia||Radiotelevizija Slovenija||RTVSLO||1993|
|23x15px Spain||Spanish Radio-Television||Corporación Radiotelevisión Española||RTVE||1955|
|Spanish Society of Radio||Sociedad Española de Radiodifusión||SER||1982|
|People's Radiowaves of Spain||Cadena de Ondas Populares de España||COPE||1998|
|23x15px Sweden||Sveriges Television och Radio Grupp AB||STR||1950|
|TV4||TV4 Gruppen AB||SE/TV4||2004|
|23x16px Switzerland||Swiss Broadcasting Corporation|| SRG SSR
|23x15px Tunisia||Radiodifussion-Télévision Tunisienne||مؤسسة الإذاعة والتلفزة التونسية||RTTT||1950|
|23x15px Turkey||Turkish Radio and Television Corporation||Türkiye Radyo-Televizyon Kurumu||TRT||1950|
|23x15px Ukraine|| National Television Company of Ukraine, and
National Radio Company of Ukraine
| Національна телекомпанія України,
Національна радіокомпанія України
|23x15px United Kingdom||British Broadcasting Corporation||-||BBC||1950|
|United Kingdom Independent Broadcasting||Darlledu Annibynnol y Deyrnas Gyfunol||UKIB||1960|
|23x16px Vatican City||Vatican Radio||Radio Vaticana||RV||1950|
Past active members
|23x15px Czechoslovakia||Czechoslovak Television||CST||1991||1992|
|23x15px Greece||Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation||ERT||1950||2013|
|23x15px Monaco 23x15px Italy||Telemontecarlo||TMC||1981||2001|
|23x15px Libya||Libyan Jamahiriya Broadcasting Corporation (الجماهيرية اللّيبيّة)||LJBC||1974||2011|
|23x15px Serbia and Montenegro||Alliance of Public Radio and Television||UJRT||2001||2006|
|23x15px Slovakia||Slovenský rozhlas||SRo||1993||2011|
|23x15px Slovakia||Slovenská televízia||STV||1993||2011|
|23x15px Spain||Antena 3 Radio||A3R||1986||1993|
|23x16px Vatican City||Vatican Television Center||CTV||1950||2012|
|23x15px Yugoslavia||Yugoslav Radio Television||JRT||1950||1992|
EBU membership applications
Below is a table of broadcasting networks who have submitted applications for Active EBU Membership and are either still under review, or have had their applications rejected.
|Template:Country data Kazakhstan||Kazakhstan Radio and Television Corporation||KRTC||State Television Company awaits of satisfaction of request for Pending or Approved EBU membership since 2008. Kazakhstan is outside of the European Broadcasting area, and thus cannot be granted Active Membership.||2008|
|23x15px Kosovo[note 1]||Radio Television of Kosovo||RTK||RTK has shown interest into obtaining active EBU membership. However, they have yet to fulfil all the criteria set by the EBU for admission.||2008|
|23x15px Liechtenstein||1 Fürstentum Liechtenstein Television||1FLTV||Liechtenstein's only television broadcaster began broadcasting on 15 August 2008. In July 2009, Peter Kölbel, broadcaster's managing director officially announced its intent to apply to join the EBU by the end of July 2009.||2009, 2010|
|23x15px Morocco||La deuxième Télévision||2M TV||The second commercial channel of Morocco has asked for membership to the EBU.||2011|
|23x15px Palestine||Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation||PBC||The broadcasting corporation is a former Associate Member, and was alleged to have held negotiations with the EBU to become Active Members. However, Palestine is not a member of the required organisations, and thus does not comply with the criteria.||2007|
|23x15px Qatar||Qatar Radio||QR||Recently shown interest at Eurovision 2009, by sending delegates in the hope of applying for active membership. However their application has been denied under the current rules, due to the Gulf State being completely outside of the European Broadcasting Area.||2009|
Any group or organisation member of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which provide a radio or television service outside of the European Broadcasting Area, are permitted to submit applications to the EBU for Associate Membership. Countries which have this status also pay an annual fee to maintain this status, if a fee is not paid, then their Associate Membership is revoked. It was also noted by the EBU that any country that is granted Associate Member status does not include any access into the Eurovision system.
The list of Associate Members of EBU, comprised the following 37 broadcasting companies from 22 countries as of January 2014.
Approved participant members
Any groups or organisations from a country with International Telecommunication Union (ITU) membership, which do not qualify for either the EBU's Active or Associate memberships, but still provide a broadcasting activity for the EBU, are granted a unique Approved Participants membership, which lasts approximately five years. An application for this status may be submitted to the EBU at any given time, providing an annual fee is paid.
The following seven EBU broadcast members had status as Approved Participants in December 2014.
|Country||Broadcasting organisation||Abbr.||Official website|
|23x15px Spain||Catalunya Música||CAT||CatRadio|
|23x15px France||ARTE GEIE||ARTE||Arte|
|23x15px France||TV5Monde||TV5||TV5 Monde|
|23x15px Macedonia||Macedonian Broadcasting||JP MRD||JP MRD|
|23x15px Russia||Russian TV and Radio Broadcasting Network||RTRN||RTRN|
The EBU in cooperation with the respective host broadcaster, organises competitions and events in which its Members can participate, if they wish to do so. These include:
Eurovision Song Contest
The Eurovision Song Contest (French: Concours Eurovision de la Chanson) is an annual international song competition, that was first held in Lugano, Switzerland, on 24 May 1956. Seven countries participated – each submitting two songs, for a total of 14. This was the only contest in which more than one song per country was performed: since 1957 all contests have allowed one entry per country. The 1956 contest was won by the host nation, Switzerland. In this competition, only countries that are members of the EBU can participate. The first winner was Switzerland, and the most recent is Sweden.
Junior Eurovision Song Contest
Junior Eurovision Song Contest (French: Concours Eurovision de la Chanson Junior), is an annual international song competition, that was first held in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 15 November 2003. Sixteen countries participated – each submitting one song, for a total of 16 entries. The 2003 Contest was won by Croatia and the current winner is Italy.
Eurovision Young Musicians
Eurovision Young Musicians is a competition for European musicians that are younger than 19 years old. It is organised by the EBU and is a member of EMCY.
The televised competition is held every two years, with some countries holding national heats. Since its foundation in 1982, the Eurovision Young Musicians competition has become one of the most important music competitions on an international level.
Eurovision Dance Contest
The Eurovision Dance Contest (not to be confused with the Eurovision Young Dancers Competition) was an international dancing competition that was held for the first time in London, United Kingdom on 1 September 2007. The competition was repeated in 2008 when it was held in Glasgow, United Kingdom, but has not been held since.
Eurovision Young Dancers
It uses a format similar to the Eurovision Song Contest, every country that is a member of the EBU has had the opportunity to send a dance act to compete for the title of "Eurovision Young Dancer". The act can be either a solo act or a dance couple, and all contestants must be between the ages of 16 and 21 years and not professionally engaged. The winner is chosen by television viewers across the EBU through a real-time, electronic and onscreen voting mechanism.
Let the Peoples Sing
Let the Peoples Sing is a biennial choir competition, the participants of which are chosen from radio recordings entered by EBU radio members. The final, encompassing three categories and around ten choirs, is offered as a live broadcast to all EBU members. The overall winner is awarded the Silver Rose Bowl.
Jeux Sans Frontières
Jeux Sans Frontières (English: Games Without Frontiers, or Games Without Borders) was a Europe-wide television game show. In its original conception, it was broadcast from 1965 to 1999 under the auspices of the EBU. The original series run ended in 1982 but was revived in 1988 with a different complexion of nations and was hosted by smaller broadcasters.
- Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union
- BBC World News
- Caribbean Broadcasting Union
- Commonwealth Broadcasting Association
- Commonwealth Press Union
- Europe by Satellite
- North American Broadcasters Association
- Organización de Televisión Iberoamericana (Iberoamerican Television Organisation)
- WRN Broadcast
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- Repo, Juha (6 June 2012). "New EBU members? Not very likely". esctoday.com. ESCToday. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "Казахстан может стать членом Европейского вещательного союза".
- "Kazajistán negocia su incorporación a la UER. El país podría participar próximamente en el Festival de Eurovisión".
- "Kazajistán negocia su incorporación a la UER para participar en Eurovisión 2014".
- "EBU to launch Radio Television Kosovo from Pristina on 19 September 1999".
- "Radio Television Kosovo to go on air from Pristina on Sunday 19 September 1999".
- "Radio Television Kosovo launched successfully by EBU with Kouchner interview".
- Harley, Lee (21 July 2009). "Liechtenstein: Set to debut in Eurovision 2010?". Oikotimes. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- "Morocco: No Return in 2014".
- Karhapää, Ilari (11 May 2007). "Palestinians wants to tell a different story". ESCToday. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- Repo, Juha (12 May 2009). "Gulf nation wants to join Eurovision". ESCToday. Retrieved 2009-05-12.
- "Admission". EBU.ch. Retrieved 2009-06-27.
- "Approved Participants". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
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- "Winners of the Eurovision Song Contest" (PDF). European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 2007-12-26.
- "Historical Milestones". European Broadcasting Union. 2005. Archived from the original on 26 May 2006. Retrieved 2006-05-26.
- "Official information page" (in French). European Broadcasting Union. 10 December 2007. Retrieved 6 July 2008.
- Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. Kosovo's independence has been recognised by 108 out of 193 United Nations member states.
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