Eurovision Song Contest to be broadcast in the US for first time

This year’s Eurovision Song Contest will be broadcast live in the US for the first time ever.

The camp European music contest has entered its 61st year, with 42 countries set to take part in Stockholm next week.

Though its definition of ‘Europe’ is famously lax (Israel? Australia?), the contest will be spreading in a bold new direction this year: across the Atlantic.

It was confirmed today that LGBT-focussed cable channel Logo TV, best known as the home of RuPaul’s Drag Race, has reached a deal to broadcast the show live in the United States.

Eurovision exec Jon Ola Sand confirmed the news, adding: “We are thrilled that the world’s biggest entertainment show is being broadcast live in one of the biggest TV markets for the very first time.

“The Eurovision Song Contest is now a truly global phenomenon and we are extremely happy that U.S viewers now get to join those all over Europe, Australia and Asia in experiencing the Grand Final of world’s longest running annual TV music competition on May 14.”

As well as the 42 participating nations, Eurovision will be broadcast in Portugal (who are sitting out a year) China, New Zealand, the US and Kazakhstan.

The contest organisers stirred controversy recently with a flag policy that bans ‘political’ waving of rainbow flags – and prohibits a number of other flags from being flown, including the Scottish Saltire and the Australian Aboriginal flag.

The Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final will take place on May 14. It will air at 3pm EST on Logo. In the UK it will air at 8pm on BBC One.