Bosnia & Herzegovina’s national broadcaster BHRT has today revealed that production and broadcast within the company will temporarily be suspended from the 30 June.
With long-lasting debt being accumulated over the past number of years amounting to 25 million KM (€12.8 million), today a forced decision has been made to temporarily cease all production and broadcast within BHRT from the 30 June until further notice.
BHRT’s debt is split into 2 parts between Radio-televizije Federacije BiH (16.5 million KM (€8.4 million)) and Radio-televizije Republike Srpske (8.8 million KM (€4.5 million)). Earlier last week, is was revealed that a debt between BHRT and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) was also ongoing with talks underway in order to reach a repayment settlement by the end of May, based on monthly installments. Failure to reach an agreement would see the removal of broadcasting services to the broadcaster, such as news and sporting events.
Following today’s announcement, the management Bosnian national broadcaster will cooperate in order to find a solid solution which will reverse today’s decision. A warning has been made that, if an outcome is not decided, Bosnia & Herzegovina will become the only European country without a public broadcaster.
In relation to the Eurovision Song Contest, BHRT withdrew from the competition for a 3-year period from 2013 to 2015, citing financial problems as the main reasons behind their withdrawal. This year, Bosnia & Herzegovina made a return to the Eurovision Song Contest with a full financial contribution being made from both the production company behind the entry along with a number of national sponsors.
With BHRT in financial difficulties both internally as well as towards the EBU and production suspension being enforced, Bosnia & Herzegovina’s future participation in the Eurovision Song Contest itself is uncertain.