LONDON (Reuters) – Viewers from countries not participating in the Eurovision Song Contest will be able to vote for their favorite film next year for the first time in the competition’s history, the organizers said on Tuesday.
The new Rest of the World poll will leverage audience power to influence results and learn about the global reach of the competition, which last year attracted a TV audience of more than 160 million.
Viewers will be able to vote via a secure online platform, and a full list of eligible countries will be published around the time of the event, which usually takes place in May.
The competition organizers said on their website: “The votes of non-participating countries will be combined to form a group of points with the same weight as the participating country in the semi-final and grand final.”
The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 will take place in the northern English city of Liverpool in place of this year’s winners, Ukraine.
Ancient tradition usually dictates that the winner of the competition dictates the host the following year, but the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said security and safety reasons due to the ongoing conflict meant that runner-up, the United Kingdom, would host the event.
Competition organizers said they are also making changes to the semi-final voting system, which will now be decided by spectators alone, rather than a combination of spectators’ votes and national juries of music experts, as before.
(Narrated by Farouk Suleiman).