Eurovision Song Contest to air live in US for the first time


The Eurovision Song Contest is set to air live in the US for the first time in its 60-year history.

The grand final will be broadcast on American TV after the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) reached a deal with cable network Logo.

Launched in 2012, the Viacom-owned network features a range of lifestyle programming primarily aimed at the LGBT community.

Conchita Wurst Eurovision
Conchita Wurst won the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Its website describes Eurovision as "the biggest, boldest, campiest music competition on earth".

It says: "It's an eclectic mix of power ballads and bubblegum pop paired with intricate elaborate costumes and pyrotechnics, all wrapped up in national pride."

Eurovision will be held in Stockholm in Sweden from May 10, culminating in the grand final on May 14. The theme for this year's edition is "Come Together".

Mans Zelmerlow
Mans Zelmerlow (Kerstin Joensson/AP)

Reigning champions Sweden will host the contest after Swedish act Mans Zelmerlow won in 2015 with his song Heroes.

Joe and Jake will represent the UK with a performance of You're Not Alone, competing with 41 other countries.

Romania will not be one of those countries, because it was expelled from the contest in March.

Joe and Jake, who will represent the United Kingdom at Eurovision 2016
Joe and Jake, who will represent the United Kingdom at Eurovision 2016 (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

The EBU, which produces the annual competition, said the decision was taken after Romania's national broadcaster, Televiziunea Romana (TVR), failed to pay debts totalling more than £11 million.

The decision was taken after the Romanian government failed to meet a deadline of April 20 to repay the debts.

The EBU's director-general, Ingrid Deltenre, said it was "regrettable" that they had been forced to take such action.

Katrina And The Waves flew the flag for the UK in 1997
Katrina And The Waves flew the flag for the UK in 1997 (Rebecca Naden/PA)

She said: "We are disappointed that all our attempts to resolve this matter have received no response from the Romanian government.

"In recent weeks the EBU has taken note of the Ministry of Finance's suggestion that TVR may be placed into insolvency proceedings which may in turn lead to a profound restructuring of the broadcaster.

"The EBU is a not-for-profit association which represents 73 public service broadcasters in 56 countries. The continued indebtedness of TVR jeopardises the financial stability of the EBU itself."

This year's entry for Romania, Ovidiu Anton, had been due to sing the song Moment Of Silence.