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Country Contest Union
Syndicat du concours national
Formation 12 February 2010; 7 years ago
Dissolved 31 May 2018; temporarily
Type Union of broadcasting organisations
Headquarters England (2021–present)
Tel Aviv, Israel (2010–2020)
Membership
  • 75 active members
  • (from 59 countries)
Official language
English, French
Owner Self-owned (2010–16, 2018–)
ETV Worldwide (2017–2018)
Flag of the United Kingdom Elden Dunham
(2019–present)
Flag of the United Kingdom Tyron Ferrer
(2012–2018)
Flag of Israel Elayne Harpaz
(2010–2011)
Script error

Leadership

Elayne Harpaz served as the president from the Country Contest Union's creation in 2010 up to 2011. As the Union became international, Harpaz announced that she would step down from her role and "move on to other things." As such, Tyron Ferrer was announced as her successor through the international fame of the Union. Ferrer announced on 31 May 2018 that he would step down from his role as the President of the Union, which was followed by several employees. However, the CCU stated that such moves were "voluntary" and not from "anything behind the scenes." The resignations caused a controversy in the Union followed by financial issues which put all of the Union's projects in hiatus, as the issues were said to be "sorted behind the scenes." Despite these issues, the CCU still announced the creation of a project whilst sorting out these issues. Additionally, the Union was said to be seeking Sponsors for its Events to prevent any future financial hurdles, rumored as the reason for the resignations. Additionally, the Union stated that an announcement on the succeeding President would be made in "coming months", officially putting all of its events on a months-long hiatus. ETV Worldwide also announced on 19 June 2018 that it would drop out of its ownership of the Union, therefore removing a big asset and sponsor. The Union later saw offers from several high-profile companies offering to purchase, sponsor, etc. the Union. The Union stated on Twitter that, "We are in the midst of electing a new President, who will not only be a financial asset but also creative, for the sake of the future of the Union. Offers from third-party Companies will continue to be considered[/accepted] during this time. As of now, the Union will stop using its social media."

As of 18 December 2018, indexes consider the Country Contest Union "temporarily dissolved", while the issues are being sorted.

In November 2018, CCU announced that for the first time ever, that it's President would be decided via presidential election, which would now be a regular occurrence every four years, unless a high dissatisfaction level would be obtained via at least 30 officially credible polls, with at least 100 participants in each. Nationals from any of the 59 member countries were to be permitted to enter the race. Harpaz and Ferrer, who each respectively served one and six years, were not to be permitted to enter, as was considered to void the purpose of the election.

Elden Dunham was elected. In 2020, the CCU voted to move its headquarters to England, a move initiated by Dunham, which was successful. As a result, the Tel Aviv headquarter was downgraded into a regional quarter, with the yet-to-be-decided/inclosed England location headquarter becoming the main. Controversy arose as many in the Tel Aviv quarter were laid off, after declining to move to England, as the downgrade meant that less employees were needed. The England headquarter was officially adapted as the main in January 2021.

Active members

Country Broadcaster Year
Flag of Albania Albania RTSH 1999
Flag of Algeria Algeria ENTV
ENRS
TDA
1970
Flag of Andorra Andorra RTVA 2002
Flag of Armenia Armenia AMPTV 2005
Flag of Austria Austria ORF 1953
Flag of Azerbaijan Azerbaijan İCTI/İTV 2007
Flag of Belarus Belarus BTRC 1993
Flag of Belgium Belgium VRT
RTBF
1950
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia–Herzegovina BHRT 1993
Flag of Bulgaria Bulgaria BNR 1993
BNT 1993
Flag of Croatia Croatia HRT 1993
Flag of Cyprus Cyprus CYBC 1969
Flag of the Czech Republic Czech Republic ČR 1994
ČT 1994
Flag of Denmark Denmark DR 1950
DK/TV2 1989
Flag of Egypt Egypt ERTU 1985
Flag of Estonia Estonia ERR 1993
Flag of Finland Finland YLE 1950
FI/MTV 1993
Flag of France France GRF 1950
E1 1978
Flag of Georgia Georgia GPB 2005
Flag of Germany Germany ARD 1952
ZDF 1963
Flag of Greece Greece ERT 1950
Flag of Hungary Hungary HMG 2014
Flag of Iceland Iceland RÚV 1956
Flag of Ireland Ireland RTÉ 1950
TG4 2007
Flag of Italy Italy RAI 1950
Flag of Jordan Jordan JRTV 1970
Flag of Kazakhstan Kazakhstan KA 2016
Channel 31 2017
Flag of Latvia Latvia LTV 1993
LR 1993
Flag of Lebanon Lebanon TL 1950
Flag of Liberland Liberland LTC 2018
Flag of Libya Libya LNC 2011
Flag of Liechtenstein Liechtenstein 1FLTV 2009
Flag of Lithuania Lithuania LRT 1993
Flag of Luxembourg Luxembourg CLT 1950
ERSL 1996
Flag of Macedonia Macedonia MKRTV 1993
Flag of Malta Malta PBS 1970
Flag of Moldova Moldova TRM 1993
Flag of Monaco Monaco GRMC 1950
Flag of Montenegro Montenegro RTCG 2006
RTV Atlas 2018
Flag of Morocco Morocco SNRT 1950
Flag of Netherlands Netherlands NPO 1950
Flag of Norway Norway NRK 1950
NO/TV2 1993
Flag of Poland Poland PRT 1993
Flag of Portugal Portugal RTP 1950
Flag of Romania Romania ROR 1993
RO/TVR 1993
Flag of Russia Russia C1R 1996
RTR 1993
RDO 1996
Flag of San Marino San Marino SMRTV 1995
Flag of Serbia Serbia RTS 2006
Flag of Slovakia Slovakia RTVS 2011
Flag of Slovenia Slovenia RTVSLO 1993
Flag of Spain Spain RTVE 1955
SER 1982
COPE 1998
Flag of Sweden Sweden STR 1950
SE/TV4 2004
Flag of Switzerland Switzerland SRG SSR 1950
Flag of Tunisia Tunisia RTTT 1950
Flag of Ukraine Ukraine UA:PBC 1993
Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom BBC 1950
UKIB 1960
Flag of Vatican City Vatican City RV 1950

Associate members

Country Broadcaster Year
Flag of Kosovo Kosovo RTK 2008

Pending members

The regulations of the Union allow entities/broadcasters to submit applications to the Union up to three times per year, should one be rejected.

The CCU announced that the Top Four countries of the Country Contest 10 who were not a regular member of the Union would be upgraded to one so. However, the process was delayed and the CCU later stated that they would become Council Associate Members; the highest possible rank for none-CCU members.

Liberland

On 6 June 2016, LBTV sent its application for Liberland to join the Country Contest Union. However, the CCU rejected LBTV's application on 27 June stating that, "For Liberland to be able to join the CCU and therefore compete in the Country Contest, it would require an agreement from both Serbia and Croatia allowing Liberland to participate. Otherwise, it is not possible in respect to the Member Countries of the Union." The broadcaster Liberland Television (LBTV) went defunct months later, leaving Liberland with no broadcaster for months.

On May 22, 2017, Liberland's new television broadcaster LTC submitted its application to the CCU with testimonies from several Croatian authorities. On June 12, 2017, the CCU rejected the application saying that "it wasn't valid" and that "the authorization must be from the governments themselves." LTC later announced that they would send representatives in the Fall of 2017 to Serbia and Croatia in hopes of being authorized.

On September 25, 2017, over four months after LTC's first application, the broadcaster sent its second with the approval of both Croatia and Serbia. Over one month later, on October 30, 2017, CCU announced the approval of the LTC's application making Liberland the newest addition to the Union. However, the decision was criticized by many, stating that the only reason for Croatia and Serbia's approval would be for "an exchange in points" between the countries, noting that they did not allow Liberland to become independent.

Catalonia

On October 27, 2017, the Catalan Republic's broadcaster TVC sent an application to join the CCU. Three days later, on October 30, 2017, the CCU rejected TVC's application stating that "Catalonia cannot become a member without explicit permission from Spain itself."

Israel

After IBA went defunct, IPBC sent its application to join the CCU on 29 May 2017. The CCU stated on 16 June 2017 that the process of evaluating the application could take up to a year due to some issues, and that as such should be patient.

In November 2018, it was reported that a few issues with the application were being worked on, for a potential application acceptation by the end of the year of 2018. This would allow the country to vote in the CCU presidential election, 2019.

On 7 December 2018, the CCU members voted in favor of IPBC (KAN) receiving full membership status at the CCU.

Scotland

In 2017, Scotland's STV sent an application to join the Union given the absence of UK in the Country Contest and will to participate as an independent entity. The CCU rejected STV's application one month later, stating that "STV must earn the explicit permission from the British government to join independently." Following the statement, STV stated that they would no longer pursue joining the Union.

Months after STV's lost-interest, BBC Scotland announced that it would go forward with plans to join the Union and stated that it was in talks with the Government. This was no longer necessary as the BBC themselves later split the United Kingdom in several contests in the aftermath of a petition.

United States

Following ETV's decision to purchase the Union, American broadcaster ETV became a Council Associate Member.

Montenegro

In August 2018, RTV Atlas sent an application to partake in the CCU. On 12 September 2018, the CCU confirmed following the 2018 General September Meeting that RTV Atlas would become the newest broadcaster to join the Union, following a vote in favor of the broadcaster.

Following RTV Atlas' newfound membership, RTCG stated that "a solution regarding the handling of the Country Contest was necessary, in order to avoid any tensions regarding the main broadcasting and participation for Montenegro in the contest." The CCU responded later, stating, "After many discussions, we've come to an agreement that the best option would be for RTCG and RTV Atlas to take turns as the main broadcaster, starting from the 21st edition. For the 20th edition, an agreement is apparent in the form of a Broadcaster Selection."

2016-17 applications

Country Broadcaster Year Result
Flag of Australia Australia SBS 2017 Council
Flag of Brazil Brazil RC 2017 Council
Flag of Catalonia Catalonia TVC 2017 Rejected
Flag of Colombia Colombia RTVC SMP 2017 Council
Flag of Israel Israel IPBC 2017 Accepted
Flag of Liberland Liberland LBTV 2016 Rejected
LTC 2017 Rejected
Accepted
Flag of Scotland Scotland STV 2017 Rejected
BBC Scotland Cancelled
Flag of South Africa South Africa SABC 2017 Council
Flag of the United States United States ETV 2017 Council

2018 applications

Country Broadcaster Year Result
Flag of Kosovo Kosovo RTK 2018 Pending
Flag of Montenegro Montenegro RTV Atlas 2018 Accepted

Organised events

The CCU in co-operation with the respective host broadcaster, organises competitions and events in which its Members can participate, if they wish to do so.

In 2018, ETV announced that they would "accept all events from its member broadcasters, to widen the family of [CCU] events." This move not only allowed contests from its active members, but also associate members, which turned the Union into an international TV production company. These include:

Summary

Event Start date Status Editions CCU Other
Current events
Country Contest 13 January 2015 In hiatus 18 Yes
Country Model Contest 9 June 2017 In hiatus 6 Yes
Retrica Song Contest 8 July 2017 In hiatus 2 Yes BBC
Country Games 6 October 2017 In hiatus 1 Yes
Country Cup 16 July 2018 In hiatus 3 Yes
Upcoming events
The following events are either CCU-produced, whether solely or together with other, as well as national-only series, among others.
Upcoming events
Untitled interactive TV series[1] Late 2018[2][3] In development 0 Yes
Untitled RTK spin-off[4] 2019[5][6][7] / indefinite[8] In development 0 No RTK
RTV21[9]
Country Cup[10][11][12] 2018[13][14] In development 0 Yes
Shame[15] TBA[16] In development 0 TBA[17]
Star[18] 2019[19][20] In development 0 No TBA
Musical Country Contest[21] 2018[22][23][24] In development 0 Yes
Fate of the Provinces[25] 2019[26] In development 0 No ETV
Općinski festival[27][28] 19 September 2019[29][30][31][32] In development 0 No RTV Atlas

Country Contest

The Country Contest is an annual international country competition, that was first held in Tel Aviv, Israel in 2015. To date, eight contests of the competition took place with the amount of participants growing each edition. In the 10th edition, the CCU invited associate members making the participating countries amount to 58; the record.

Country Model Contest

The CCU announced in June 2017 that they were creating a new contest, which will have Europe voting for their favorite participating models. The first edition took place on 9 June 2017, with 12 countries competing. The current contest has a record breaking 20 countries participating.

The CCU announced later that the 5th contest would be open to associate members given their "feedback and interest" in the event. Since the contest is not like the Country Contest, the CCU is considering the idea of allowing associate members each edition.

Retrica Song Contest

On 8 July 2017, the CCU announced that a new Retrica Song Contest would take place featuring songs from 1900 to 1999 from participating countries. It is the first and only competition to not include the trademark country word in it. Additionally, it is the first contest to not be created solely by the CCU; a cooperation between BBC and CCU took place. The CCU later stated that the contest was about to be scrapped, but two countries joined "at the last minute" making the contest have enough participants. Leaked information has revealed that many contests have been scrapped in the past due to lack of countries joining.

Following the second edition, the CCU announced that the contest would be put on hiatus for "other projects."

Country Games

The CCU announced in 24 May 2017 that a new Country Games contest would be made. It would be similar to the format of the World Cup, but for promoting nations. On 9 June 2017, the CCU confirmed that the production had delay until later in the summer. Later that day, CCU stated that due to the lack of interest from broadcasters, the idea would ultimately be put on hold.

The contest was later revived and the first contest started airing in October 2017. In the contests first three weeks of live show, it became the most popular CCU contest, surpassing the Country Contest which had been the most popular since the CCU's inception. Shortly afterwards, the CCU renewed the contest for a second season and stated "We've had many broadcasters worldwide even asking to join our union to participate in the contest. We're very happy for the idea ABC adapted for the contest, and we can assure that there is something even bigger planned for the next edition."

However, the CCU later announced that despite plans of soon reviving the Country Contest, that it would continue its "indefinite postponement" but that the Country Games would "be open to all countries with broadcasters within the CCU; whether associate or regulars."

For the first time ever, the CCU had affect in the results of its contest. This was as the union served as a guest judge for the nation-off (though this would only affect the bottom two of the quarter-final).

On 19 June 2018, the CCU stated that "the contest was not likely to return to screens in 2018."

Future events

Interactive TV series

On 15 October 2017, the CCU announced that they had plans to create a scripted television series, unlike all the other unscripted series'. However, unlike other TV series, it would be interactive allowing all of Europe to control the series. The CCU later stated that they were in talks with some member broadcasters about how it could work.

On 23 October 2017, the CCU confirmed that the project had received positive reception among its member countries and that it was in an early development stage.

Country Cup

On 19 June 2018, the CCU announced while the 2018 World Cup was ongoing that they would create a Country Cup spin-off with cities battling each other out to win and be awarded "financial assistance" for the top cities.

Musical Country Contest

Following the growth of the Retrica Song Contest, the CCU stated that they were "looking into starting a contest for today's music.

Spin-offs

Untitled RTK spin-off

On 30 January 2018, the CCU announced that they sold the format of the Country Contest to RTK, who were said to be creating a Country Contest spin-off. RTK later stated that an official announcement would be made once details where finalized, as they were thinking of formats.

Shortly after, RTV Atlas stated that "[it] is interested in providing support to the contest, in any shape or form." Previously, the broadcaster participated in the Original Country Contest (aka Swiss-Czech Protest Members Contest) and Kamu Birliği Festivali.

RTS stated a few days later that "[they] would not participate nor support the contest, as Kosovo is not a recognized country of Serbia."

On 12 June 2018, RTK stated that given their membership in the Country Contest, that development of the so-said spin-off would be slowed down. As such, RTK confirmed that it would not debut until 2019. On 5 October 2018, RTK stated that this project was now in doubt, while pending the results of the stance on Kosovo's CCU involvement. However, on 6 October 2018, RTK announced that they would co-produce the series with private Kosovar station RTV21.[33][34][35] This move reportedly "saved the series" and ensured for a "quality series". The CCU also commented stating that "considering that RTV21 are not the main producers of the production, but rather a co-producer and sponsor, that it would be allowed."[36]

New members

Australia (SBS)

On 18 June 2017, the CCU announced that the victory of Australia in the Model Contest and the successful results in the original toppled with the continued interest in the nation, that the country would be permanently joining the union.


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