Eurovision Services is ready to "Open up" for the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest

3 min. read
17/05/2021

Eurovision Services will be providing live satellite links from all participating countries in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest

This week Eurovision Services will be providing live satellite links from all participating countries in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest and the host city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, as well as distributing the international television signal to broadcasters across Europe and beyond.

As part of its contribution services for the event, Eurovision Services provides the facilities for each of the 39 participating countries to give their votes live. This encompasses the satellite uplink from each studio, the corresponding downlink to the nearest teleport and the on-pass to Rotterdam’s Ahoy Arena. It is the only event where Eurovision Services is directly involved in the production in real time.

Eurovision Services will be providing 56 hours of live transmissions to 45 media organisations over the coming week, including the two semi-finals, two separate full dress rehearsals with voting for the Grand Final, all winner’s press conferences and, of course, the main event: the live Grand Final on 22nd May from 1900-2230 GMT, followed by the winner’s press conference from 2300-2345 GMT. To ensure maximum security, the signals will be transmitted across three geographically distinct distribution paths.

The company is also providing non-linear file transfer services to a number of countries, as well as a secure SRT signal over the internet for radio stations using the new Eurovision Services redundant SRT gateways.

The project team managing the Eurovision Song Contest transmissions for Eurovision Services has considerable experience in managing live transmissions for some of the world’s biggest events during the Covid-19 pandemic and therefore has a robust crisis management and back-up system in place, including the option to switch to a full remote back-up option from Eurovision Control (EVC) in Geneva if required. Strict sanitary protocols in place at EVC for well over a year have ensured that none of the high-value transmissions carried over the Eurovision Global Network have been impacted by the pandemic and all team members working on the Eurovision Song Contest on site in Rotterdam are tested every 48 hours. The team handling the Eurovision Song Contest transmissions at Eurovision Services consists of 22 people in total.

Commenting on the long-standing partnership between the Eurovision Song Contest and Eurovision Services, Martin Österdahl, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, said “It’s a very close partnership that we have with Eurovision Services and it is at the very core of the competition, especially for connecting to the spokespersons in all the different countries for the voting, which is one of the most-loved aspects of the show and has to be done precisely. The cooperation with Eurovision Services works really well.”

Watch the short interview with Martin Österdahl.