The Eurovision Song Contest is the biggest non-sporting TV event in the world.

And while it’s still consistently one of the most viewed shows, it’s still lost 20 million viewers in the past three years.

More than 200 million people watched the contest in 2016.

This year, however, 182 million tuned in across 40 markets.

The Grand Final achieved, on average, a 1% point higher TV audience compared to last year.

boast that younger audiences are watching the contest in greater numbers. Around 45.3% of 15-24-year-olds watching TV in 40 markets watched the final.

Around three quarters of TV watchers in the Netherlands tuned in to watch bisexual singer Duncan Laurence win.

Iceland has the largest viewing share of any market at 98.4%.

But why has Eurovision lost 20 million viewers in the past year?

The answer may be in YouTube.

Online, the contest had 40 million unique viewers online from 225 territories, during the week of the event. Considering that YouTube is one of the only legal way for Americans to watch, this may be a factor. Also, the rise of on-demand viewing may have had an affect on the casual viewer.

Eurovision experts also put the loss at other reasons.

Smaller countries like Iceland and San Marino were two of the favorites in the contest in Israel this year.

Ukraine withdrew this year after the public broadcaster banned their act, Maruv, from performing in Russia.

She was given 24 hours to sign a contract dropping her Russian concert dates or be banned from participating in Eurovision.

Ukraine, one of the largest countries in Europe, is normally responsible for around 5 million viewers.

More than 60 queer and trans liberation organizations called for a boycott of the contest. The majority of signatories are Palestinian queer groups.

Others include the National LGBT Committee for UNISON, ACT UP groups in France and the UK, and the Gay Liberation Network.

2018’s Israeli Eurovision winner Netta previously said on the proposed boycott: ‘When you boycott light, you spread darkness.’

Gay host of Eurovision this year, Assi Azar, furthermore told : ‘I say to everyone that wants to boycott…. by boycotting you will never learn or understand the other side.

‘We want to live in peace next to our neighbors. That’s what I think Eurovision is all about. Live and let live, love and let love,’ he said.

 

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