Pro TV private broadcaster is expected to start an on-line petition in support of Romanian singer Ovidiu Anton (photo) competing in the Eurovision 2016 European song contest, ProTV CEO Aleksandras Cesnavicius told a news conference on Wednesday.
Following the latest developments that led to Romania being excluded from the 2016 Eurovision song contests, Pro TV and Ovidiu Anton have decided to send an open letter to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), calling on the EBU officials to reconsider their decision and seek together solutions to allow Anton to compete in the contest to be held in Stockholm and Pro TV to broadcast the event, according to Cesnavicius.
Cesnavicius said they respect the EBU decision on the matter, but they believe the measures will negatively impact the participant, viewers and Romania. Ovidiu [Anton] and his band, he said, have invested a lot of energy and time in preparing for the event, having won the support of the jury and Romanians who voted for him in the selection event. It is unfair for him to be withdrawn from competition at this advanced stage, just two weeks before the semi-finals, added Cesnavicius. Eurovision is seen as an important event nationwide, and the Romanian viewers should not be deprived of the opportunity to watch it, said Cesnavicius, adding that Anton’s exclusion is punishment meted out to the entire country, not just the faulty Romanian national television broadcasting corporation. Europe has to be united and this contest is the perfect example, said Cesnavicius.
In his turn, Anton told the news conference he is ready for the competition.
Cesnavicius said he sent the letter to the attention of EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre, Eurovision Executive Superviser Jon Ola Sand, and Eurovision 2016 Executive Producer Martin Osterdahl.
The letter says that there is a strong emotional connection between Romania and Eurovision that started right after the December 1989 Revolution, as participation in the event was seen as proof to its inclusion in the European community.
In concluding the letter, the Pro TV CEO reiterates readiness for talks with the EBU management, saying that even if the time to the event in Stockholm is short, hopefully a realistic solution will be found to allow Anton to stay in the contest.