Most Russians support cancellation of Eurovision Song Contest broadcast

The number of regular viewers of the Eurovision Song Contest is 19 percent. Photo: Ukraine's Jamala celebrates as she wins the Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm, Sweden.

The number of regular viewers of the Eurovision Song Contest is 19 percent. Photo: Ukraine's Jamala celebrates as she wins the Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm, Sweden.

Anna Velikova (EBU)
Channel One refuses to air show after Yulia Samoilova banned from Ukraine.

Seventy-five percent of Russians support the decision of Russia’s Channel One to cancel the broadcast of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, after Ukraine banned Russian contestant Yulia Samoilova from entering the country.

This is according to the latest report released by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTSIOM) on April 24.

According to VTSIOM, over the last five years the number of Russians that had watched the Eurovision at least once has grown from 76 percent to 82 percent. The number of regular viewers of the show remained at 19 percent.

The Head of Political Analysis and Consulting at WCIOM, Mikhail Mamonov, thinks the reaction of the public is predictable. "Ukraine’s position with regard to Yulia Samoilova is seen as unfair and politically biased. This injustice, in turn, creates an emotional response which has been reflected in the poll," he said.

Mamonov further noted that personal freedom to watch the show or not is not being restricted. Those who would like to watch the show would be able to see it online. "The absence of TV broadcasting is only a demonstration of the Russian position," the expert said.

Previously, on March 22 Ukraine’s intelligence agency, the SBU, imposed a three-year entry ban on the Russian singer Samoilova following her performance in Crimea in 2015. In response, Russian broadcaster Channel One said on April 13 it does not see any possibility to replace Samoilova with some other singer and to broadcast the contest after the European Broadcasting Union’s inability to resolve the issue with the authorities in Kiev.

Read more: Kremlin: Eurovision organizers ‘failed to play by their own rules’>>>

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