European Broadcasting Union
Countries with one or more members are in dark blue. Associated members in light blue.
|Formation||12 February 1950|
|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.
It was formed on 12 February 1950 by 23 broadcasting organisations from Europe and the Mediterranean at a conference in the coastal resort of Torquay in Devon, England. In 1993, the International Radio and Television Organisation (OIRT), an equivalent organisation of broadcasters from Central and Eastern Europe, was merged with the EBU.
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|
|Albania||Radio and Television of Albania||Radio Televizioni Shqiptar||RTSH||1999|
|Algeria||Etablissement public de Télévision Algérienne,
Enterprise nationale de radiodiffusion,
|المـؤسـسـة العمومية للتـلـفزيـون,
|Andorra||Ràdio i Televisió d'Andorra||RTVA||RTVA||2002|
|Armenia||Public Radio of Armenia, and
Public Television of Armenia
|Հայաստանի Հանրային Ռադիո,
Հայաստանի հանրային հեռուստաընկերություն
|Austria||Austrian Broadcasting||Österreichischer Rundfunk||ORF||1953|
|Azerbaijan||Public TV and Radio||İctimai Televiziya və Radio Yayımları Şirkəti||İTV||2007|
|Belarus||Belarusian Radio and Television Company||Нацыянальная дзяржаўная
тэлерадыёкампанія Рэспублікі Беларусь
|Belgium||Flemish Radio & Television Network and
Radio and Television of Belgian French
|Vlaamse Radio-en Televisieomroep,
Radio-Télévision Belge Francophone
|Bosnia & Herzegovina||Radio and Television of Bosnia and Herzegovina||Radio-televizija Bosne i Hercegovine
Радио-телевизија Босне и Херцеговине
|Bulgaria||Bulgarian National Radio||Българско национално радио||BNR||1993|
|Bulgarian National Television||Българска национална телевизия||BNT||1993|
|Croatia||Croatian Radiotelevision||Hrvatska radiotelevizija||HRT||1993|
|Cyprus||Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation||Ραδιοφωνικό Ίδρυμα Κύπρου (Greek)
Kıbrıs Radyo Yayın Kurumu (Turkish)
|Czech Republic||Czech Radio||Český rozhlas||ČR||1994|
|Czech Television||Česká televize||ČT||1994|
|Denmark||Danmarks Radio||Danmarks Radio AS||DR||1950|
|Egypt||Egyptian Radio and Television Union||إتحاد الإذاعة و التليفزيون المصري||ERTU||1985|
|Estonia||Estonian Public Broadcasting||Eesti Rahvusringhääling||ERR||1993|
|Finland||- Finnish Broadcasting Corporation
||Yleisradio Oy (Finnish)
Rundradion Ab (Swedish)
- France Télévisions
- Radio France
- Radio France Internationale
|Groupement des Radiodiffuseurs
Français de l'UER
|Europe 1||Europe 1||E1||1978|
|Georgia||Georgian Public Broadcaster||საქართველოს საზოგადოებრივი მაუწყებელი||GPB||2005|
|Germany||German National Broadcasting||Arbeitsgemeinschaft der öffentlich-rechtlichen
Rundfunkanstalten der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
|Second German Television||Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen||ZDF||1963|
|Greece||New Hellenic Radio, Internet and Television||Νέα Ελληνική Ραδιοφωνία, Ίντερνετ και Τηλεόραση||NEPIT||2014|
|Hungary||Hungarian Media Group:
- Media Support and Asset Management Fund (MTVA)
- Hungarian Radio(MR)
- Hungarian Television(MTV)
- Duna TV
|Hungarian Media Group:
- Media Support and Asset Management Fund (MTVA)
- Magyar Rádió (MR)
- Magyar Televízió (MTV)
- Duna Televízió
(merged in 2014)
|Iceland||National Broadcasting Service||Ríkisútvarpið||RÚV||1956|
|Ireland||Raidió Teilifís Éireann||Raidió Teilifís Éireann||RTÉ||1950|
|TG4||TG4 Teilifís na Gaeilge||TG4||2007|
|Israel||Israel Broadcasting Authority||רָשׁוּת השׁידוּר||IBA||1957|
|Italy||Radio-Television of Italy||Radiotelevisione Italiana||RAI||1950|
|Jordan||Jordan Radio and Television Corporation||التلفزيون الأردني||JRTV||1970|
|Latvia||Latvian Television||Latvijas Televīzija||LT||1993|
|Latvian Radio||Latvijas Radio||LR||1993|
|Lebanon||Télé Liban||تلفزيون لبنان||TL||1950|
|Libya||Libya National Channel||-||LNC||2011|
|Lithuania||Lithuanian National Radio and Television||Lietuvos Radijas ir Televizija||LRT||1993|
|Luxembourg||CLT MultiMedia||Compagnie Luxembourgeoise de Télédiffusion||CLT (RTL)||1950|
|Radio 100,7||Radio 100,7||ERSL||1996|
|Macedonia||Macedonian Radio-Television||Македонска радио телевизија||MKRTV||1993|
|Malta||Public Broadcasting Services||Public Broadcasting Services||MT/PBS||1970|
|Monaco||- Radio Monte Carlo (France)
- Radio Monte-Carlo (Italy)
- TMC Monte Carlo
|Groupement de Radiodiffuseurs Monégasques||TMC/GRMC||1950|
|Montenegro||Radio & Television of Montenegro||Radio televizija Crne Gore
Радио телевизија Црне Горе
|Morocco||Société Nationale de Radiodiffusion et de Télévision||الشركة الوطنية للإذاعة والتلفزة||SNRT||1969|
|Netherlands||Nederlandse Publieke Omroep||Nederlandse Publieke Omroep||NPO||1950|
|Norway||Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation||Norsk Rikskringkasting AS||NRK||1950|
|Poland||Polish Radio and Television:
- Polish Television (TVP)
- Polish Radio (PR)
|Polskie Radio i Telewizja:
- Telewizja Polska (TVP)
- Polskie Radio (PR)
|Portugal||Radio and Television of Portugal||Rádio e Televisão de Portugal||RTP||1950|
|Romania||Romanian Radio Broadcasting Company||Societatea Română de Radiodifuziune||ROR||1993|
|Romanian Television||Televiziunea Română||RO/TVR||1993|
|Russia||Channel One Russia||Первый канал||C1R||1996|
|All-Russia State Television and Radio Company||Всероссийская государственная телевизионная и радиовещательная компания||RTR||1993|
|Radio Dom Ostankino:
- Radio Mayak (MK)
- Radio Orpheus (OP)
- Voice of Russia Radio (VOR)
|Radio Dom Ostankino:
- Radio Mayak (MK)
- Radio Orpheus (OP)
- Radio Voice of Russia (VOR)
|San Marino||Radio-Television of San Marino||Radiotelevisione della Repubblica di San Marino||SMTV||1995|
|Serbia||Radio Television of Serbia||Радио-телевизија Србије||RTS||2001|
|Slovakia||Radio & Television of Slovakia||Rozhlas a televízia Slovenska||RTVS||2011|
|Slovenia||Radio-Television of Slovenia||Radiotelevizija Slovenija||RTVSLO||1993|
|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|
|Sweden||- Sveriges Television
- Sveriges Radio
- Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company
|Sveriges Television och Radio Grupp AB||STR||1950|
|- TV4||TV4 Gruppen AB||SE/TV4||2004|
|Switzerland||Swiss Broadcasting Corporation
- Swiss-German Radio and Television
- Radio télévision suisse
- Italian Radio and Television of Switzerland
- Swiss-Romansh Radio and Television
Radio- und Fernsehgesellschaft (German)
Société suisse de radiodiffusion et télévision (French)
Società svizzera di radiotelevisione (Italian)
Societad svizra da radio e televisiun (Romansh)
|Tunisia||Radiodifussion-Télévision Tunisienne||مؤسسة الإذاعة والتلفزة التونسية||RTTT||1950|
|Turkey||Turkish Radio and Television Corporation||Türkiye Radyo-Televizyon Kurumu||TRT||1950|
|Ukraine||National Television Company of Ukraine, and
National Radio Company of Ukraine
|Національна телекомпанія України,
Національна радіокомпанія України
|United Kingdom||British Broadcasting Corporation||-||BBC||1950|
|United Kingdom Independent Broadcasting
- Independent Television
- Channel 4
- Sianel 4 Cymru
|Darlledu Annibynnol y Deyrnas Gyfunol (Welsh)||UKIB||1960|
|Vatican City||Vatican Radio||Radio Vaticana||RV||1950|
Past active members
|Greece||Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation||ERT||1950–2013|
|Libya||Libyan Jamahiriya Broadcasting Corporation (الجماهيرية اللّيبيّة)||LJBC||1974–2011|
|Serbia and Montenegro||Alliance of Public Radio and Television||UJRT||2001–2006|
|Spain||Antena 3 de Radio, S.A.||A3R||1986–1993|
|Vatican City||Vatican Television Center||CTV||1950–2012|
|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.
|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|
|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|
|Liechtenstein||1 Fürstentum Liechtenstein Television||1FLTV||Liechtenstein's only television broadcaster which 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|
|Morocco||La deuxième Télévision||2M TV||The second commercial channel of Morocco has asked for membership to the EBU.||2011|
|Palestine||Palestine 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|
|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 and/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|
|Macedonia||JP MRD (Macedonian Broadcasting)||JP MRD||JP MRD|
|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 Austria.
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, 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 Organization)
- WRN Broadcast
- "European Broadcasting Union (EBU)". Retrieved 2012-07-27.
- "EBU Active Members". EBU.ch. Retrieved 2012-01-15.
- European Broadcasting Union list of Associate Members. Ebu.ch. Retrieved on 2012-01-15.
- Commission approves the EBU-Eurovision system
- countries? "Which countries can take part in Eurovision?". Eurovision. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- "Joy to the World 2013: a Euroradio holiday music special on CBC Radio 2". CBC News.
- "Live Broadcasts Finally Okayed". Variety Asia Online. 10 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-10.
- EBU Media portal. Ebu.ch. Retrieved on 2011-12-16.
- Greek public broadcaster ERT to be shut down, reopened with fewer employees. ekathimerini.com (2013-06-11). Retrieved on 2014-04-28.
- O'Carroll, Lisa (12 June 2013). "ERT (Greek state broadcaster),Media,Television industry (Media),Radio industry (Media),Greece (News),Europe (News),World news,Digital media,Internet,Social media". The Guardian (London).
- EBU - EBU urges Greek government to reverse decision on ERT. (2013-06-11). Retrieved on 2014-04-28.
- EBU Active Member list, EBU, last revised on 31 January 2014
- 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.com. 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". ebu.ch. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "EBU_Directory" (PDF). EBU.ch. Retrieved 2014-12-04.
- "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 Serbia and the Republic of Kosovo. The latter 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.