Eurovision Betting

For more than half a century, the Eurovision Song Contest has ranked as Europe’s favourite television show. Some 1,100 songs have been featured, along with singing sensations from all over the Continent and beyond, including such luminaries as Celine Dion, Cliff Richard, Julio Iglesias, and many more. And because it is a competition, Eurovision betting has developed as a matter of course.

Known in France, Belgium, and other nations as the Le Grand-Prix Eurovision de la Chanson Européenne or the Concours Eurovision de la Chanson, the contest can trace its origin to Devon, England. That’s where the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) was formed in 1950 by 23 broadcasting organisations from Europe and the Mediterranean.

It is worth noting that satellite television did not even exist at that time. The concept relied entirely upon linking together a terrestrial microwave network. Nevertheless, the EBU’s mission was accomplished in 1954 when the very first pan-European broadcast was conducted from Montreux, Switzerland as part of the annual Narcissus Festival with its procession of flower-festooned floats. A year later, the song contest took centre stage, modeled after the popular Italian Festival di Sanremo.

From the very start, the show has been a focal point of national pride. Each member country of the EBU is given the opportunity to submit one song to be performed on live television. Countries determine which singer and song to represent them based upon local qualifying competitions conducted by their national EBU-member television stations. In the semi-finals and final, professional juries and viewers cast their votes for the songs to determine which one is the most popular. The juries feature six members from each country, and their selections count for 50 percent of the balloting.

Every year since 1956, the Eurovision Song Contest has been broadcast without interruption, which places it at the top of the list among the longest-running television programmes in the world. On the occasion of the show’s 50th anniversary, viewers chose ABBA’s “Waterloo” as best song ever performed in the Eurovision Song Contest. And the competition has been expanded, too. A Junior Eurovision Song Contest was added in 2003, followed by a Eurovision Dance Contest in 2007.

By 2008, 43 countries were represented, as Azerbaijan and San Marino became the newest members of the EBU family. Today, the competition is broadcast not only in Europe, but also in such non-participating countries as Australia, Canada, Egypt, India, Jordan, Korea, New Zealand and the United States.

Given such a long history, statistics on the Eurovision Song Contest are plentiful. Ireland have won seven times, trailed by Luxembourg, France, and the United Kingdom with five wins apiece, and then Sweden and the Netherlands with four victories each. Australian-born Irish singer and song-writer Johnny Logan has the most individual wins—two as a performer for Ireland in 1980 and 1987 and once as a composer for Irish talent Linda Martin’s winning entry “Why Me.”

Irish musician Noel Kelehan conducted the most winners—five of them in 1980, 1987, 1992, 1993 and 1996; while Dutch conductor Dolf van der Linde holds the record for representing the most different countries—seven of them: Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. An estimated 125 million viewers tune in for the contest each year, with up to 38,000 attending the performances in person.

For 2011, the site selected for the Eurovision Song Contest was Düsseldorf, Germany, giving the home field advantage to 2010’s winner Lena Meyer-Landrut in her bid for the double. In May, three live shows are broadcast across Europe in prime time and via streaming video on Two semi-finals determine the twenty acts that move on to the final, where five pre-qualified representatives await them from the host country (Germany), France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. Viewers and professional juries each have a 50 percent stake in the outcome. The

Among the many ante post markets offered for wagering are outright winners by country for the qualifying stages and on the country to win the final overall. Betting is also available on the Place country, the Top Four finishers, and the Top Ten finishers. Wagers can be made on how many points the winner will receive, whether a specific country will make it to the top ten, whether the ultimate winner will come from a semi-final, and nul points.

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