Voting and terms

European Broadcasting Union (EBU)

The Eurovision Song Contest (the "ESC") is an international coproduction by EBU Members carried out under the auspices of the European Broadcasting Union (the "EBU") as part of the television program exchange known as Eurovision.

The Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) consists of three live Shows – two Semi-Finals and The Grand Final.

In the Eurovision Song Contest not the countries but the Participating Broadcasters are taking part and a maximum number of 46 Active EBU members are allowed to participate.  Only 26 of them shall compete in the Grand Final.
 
There are six guaranteed places in The Grand Final - one for the Host Broadcaster and five for the EBU Members as of producing organizations from France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom. Other Participating Broadcasters shall compete in one of the Semi-Finals.

For 2016 the dates of the ESC are the following:

Semi-Final 1 - Tuesday 10 May 2016 - 21.00-23.00 CET
Semi-Final 2 - Thursday 12 May 2016 - 21.00-23.00 CET
Final Saturday - 14 May 2016 - 21.00-00.15 CET

Participating Broadcaster

Each Participating Broadcaster is in charge of organizing the selection process of the representative and has the right to choose their entry format. This means that the Participating Broadcaster is empowered to choose both the song and the artist/artists. The Broadcaster is the one to decide the selection type - national or internal.

In case of national selection viewers and/or the jury gets to vote for the performers to be selected for the show. Latest in mid March Participating Broadcasters publicize the entry for the contest. Public broadcaster is required to organize a transparent and fair national selection process. The broadcaster can arrange the calendar and the timeline of the selection process.

Should the Participating Broadcaster prefer internal selection, they are to choose both the artist/artists and the song to be presented.

The organizers of the ESC are not choosing the participants of the contest; they just guide the process and make sure that everything is consistent with the ESC Rules (hyperlink).Anyone willing to participate in the selection process should contact the local Participating Broadcaster for more details on the selection method and the procedures.

Song & Performance

The song duration shall be no more than three minutes.

Live animals are not allowed on the stage and a maximum of six people can be part of the performance.

All artists competing in a Semi-Final or Final must be at least 16 years old on the day of the Final.

In a given year one artist may compete for one country only in the ESC.

Each Participating Broadcaster is free to decide the language of the performance.

The compositions (lyrics and music) must have not been publicized and commercialized by September 1 of the preceding year.  In case it has been, the Eurovision Song Contest Executive Supervisor should be notified by the Participating Broadcaster. It will be evaluated whether the composition is eligible for participation or not.

Artists shall perform live on stage, accompanied by a recorded backing-track.The backing-track shall not contain any vocals of any kind or any vocal imitations.

A penalty shall be applied in case of any later changes. Changes may be approved only by the Host Broadcaster in consultation with the EBU Permanent Services.

Lyrics, speeches, gestures of a political or similar nature shall be prohibited during the Eurovision Song Contest. This also includes swearing and/or other unacceptable language in the lyrics or in the performances of the songs. The lyrics and/or performance of the songs shall not bring the Shows, the Eurovision Song Contest as such or the EBU into disrepute.  No messages promoting any organization, institution, political cause or other, company, brand, products or services will be allowed in the Shows and within any official ESC. A breach of this rule may result in disqualification


Voting

After viewers have cast their votes by telephone, SMS or using the official app, each national spokesperson from the 43 participating countries will be called in to present the points of their professional jury. After the presentation of the scores from the juries, the televoting points from all participating countries will be combined, providing one score for each song. These televoting results will then be announced by the host, starting with the country receiving the fewest points from the public and ending with the country that received the highest number of points, building towards a guaranteed climax.

All the viewers in the countries of the Participating Broadcasters are invited to vote for their most preferred song; however they do not have the chance to vote for the song representing their own country. They may only vote for the songs of other participating countries.

Each country will have a National jury consisting of 5 music industry professionals indicating 50% of overall votes. The other 50% will be formed by viewers via televoting. In each of the participating country, both the votes of the jury and the televoting are used to calculate the average rank of a song. Only after this combined ranking the results are transformed to the already known “Eurovision system” where the most preferred song is receiving 12 points, the second most preferred song – 10 pints and the rest of the songs get from 8 to 1 accordingly. Only 10 songs receive points from a particular country voting results.

Viewers can vote via telephone, SMS or with the Official App available for smart technology users. During the show the Official App have live updates with certain voting features. The voting will be open only for 15 minutes once all of the participants complete their performances. Only the votes received within the announced 15 minutes will be considered, votes received after, will be considered invalid. Televoting will cover only 50% of the overall result.

According to the televoting, the song which has received the highest number of votes shall be ranked first and the song which has received the second highest number of votes shall be ranked second and so on.

In addition, National Jury is determined to form the other 50% of the overall outcome. The jury members shall rank first their first favorite song, second, their second favorite song, and so on. No abstentions are allowed.

Jury members are asked to judge first of all the vocal capacity of the presenter, performance on the stage, originality of the song and the composition, and of course overall impression of the act.

Names of the Jury will be revealed by the Final show by the Participating Broadcaster.

The EBU’s voting observer PwC can be sent to observe the voting process. Each jury must rank all the songs in the contest.  The combined rank of the votes represents the Jury results of that country.  


Note: The song representing the country of the Participating Broadcaster shall be excluded from the voting. 


Semi-Finals and the Grand Final

In both Semi-Finals viewers of the participating countries of that particular Semi-Final will be invited to vote. Viewers form only 50% of the overall voting outcome and can vote vie telephone, SMS of the Official App.

The Jury, which is the same one to vote in the Final, will vote for the other 50% of the outcome.

The EBU’s voting partner Digame Mobile GmbH will define the results of the particular Participating Broadcaster by merging the results of the televoting and the Jury. Only after merging, votes will be converted to the well-known 12 point scale and announced.

In case of a tie between songs in the combined ranking of the jury and the televoting the song that prevailed in televoting will dominate.

Each country will be distributing points to only 10 songs, indicating 12, 10 and 8-1points accordingly.

Viewers from Austria, Italy, The United Kingdom, Spain, Germany and France are also invited to vote.

At the end of each Semi-Final the results will be announced in an order decided by the Executive Supervisor of the ESC. The order does not reflect the ranking. Only 10 qualified participants will perform in the Grand Final.

For the Grand Final Show the voting and the competing system is the same as in the Semi-Finals. The 26 candidates in the Grand Final will perform and compete just like in Semi-Finals. The winning song of the contest will be the one with the highest combined rank both from the televoting and the National Juries at the time of announcement of the results. Following the victory of a particular participant the ESC will be hosted by the Participating Broadcaster in the country of the winning contestant.

The results of the voting will be announced by the spokesperson on air during the Final Show. Points 1-7 will appear on the screen and the spokesperson will call out 8, 10 and 12 points only.

Both the results of the televoting and the results of National Jury voting will be available in the official Eurovision webpage.

How to Vote