AN Asian version of Eurovision is in the works after SBS signed an exclusive option with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the owners of the Eurovision Song Contest, to develop the contest.

SBS yesterday announced it was exploring the opportunity to establish the Eurovision Song Contest concept in the Asia Pacific region along with its production partners Blink TV.

Eurovision Asia would encompass Asia Pacific nations, bringing together up to 20 countries to compete in one live annual Grand Final.

The inaugural event would be hosted by Australia in 2017 and thereafter in other Asia Pacific countries.

“SBS Australia has been broadcasting Eurovision for over 30 years, so we feel they are a perfect partner to build an alliance of networks with, and give Asian songwriters and artists the opportunity to perform on  the Eurovision stage,“ said Frank-Dieter Freiling, the Eurovision Song Contest’s Reference Group chair.

SBS managing director Michael Ebeid said Eurovision Asia was a chance to strengthen Australia’s multicultural ties to the region with the diverse music culture of the Asia Pacific region.

“Increasingly Australia is playing a greater role in the global community and SBS sees entertainment as one area in which we can play an active role in strengthening Australia’s ties with Asia as part of our overall commitment to reflecting multiculturalism and contributing to the social health of our communities,” he said.

Blink TV will develop the production with SBS and its director Paul Clarke said it would make for brilliant television.

“Imagine: the musical virtuosity of Bollywood, the cutting edge of K-pop, and the excitement of Chinese and Japanese artists – now the biggest music consumers in the world,” he said.

“We are looking to build these partnerships, starting now. It’s a thrilling idea.”

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