Maltese broadcaster to be audited over allegations of money being spent unfairly for Eurovision 2021 participation

May 27, 2021

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Nearly one week on from Eurovision 2021, and it appears that there’s drama in Malta. The Island nation has recently come under fire for their Eurovision 2021 expenditure, as well as as allegations being thrown around that the country paid for publicity ahead of the contest.

Ludwig Galea, who, together with Julie Zahra, represented Malta in Eurovision 2004, has recently accused Maltese Broadcaster PBS of paying for publicity ahead of the contest, and manipulating betting odds, to ensure that Malta was on top.

Speaking to Lovin Malta, Ludwig has shared his thoughts on the “social media formula”, a formula that creates major hype around singers, ultimately raising their betting odds, only for the artist to not do as well as expected. He believes that there are people who have spent money on artificially inflating the betting odds, inflating YouTube views and paying for positive reviews.

As a result of all of this, and claims that taxpayers money was unfairly spent, the broadcaster’s total expenditure for Eurovision 2021 will be audited by the Maltese government, with Maltese government minister, Carmelo Abelo announcing the news. The Times of Malta has reported that the suspicions surrounding Malta’s spending was flagged to Abela by public broadcaster PBS. 

In the run up to Eurovision 2021, there were many instances of Malta’s entry being promoted online, via YouTube and social media, in many different countries across Europe. People noticed articles on sites such as PinkNews and Ziarul Financiar, a Romanian newspaper, in which they wrote about Malta being one of the big favourites to win Eurovision 2021.

On Instagram, we saw artists like Cascada (Germany 2013), promoting Malta’s entry on her official page, complete with the hashtag #destinedforgreatness. On Twitter, people mentioned seeing ads telling them to vote for Malta, with instructions on how to do so in their respective languages. On YouTube, some people reported to seeing Destiny’s semi final performance as a pre-video advertisement.

What are your thoughts on this whole saga? Do you think taxpayers money could have been unfairly spent on promotion? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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