Eurovision Song Contest Ratings Rise in Strong Post-COVID Return

In today’s Global Bulletin, Eurovision impresses in its post-COVID return; the Walt Disney Company appoints Winradit (Win) Kolasastraseni as its new GM for much of Southeast Asia; the Producers Guild of India launches a vaccination drive for industry members; Bangladesh’s International Academy of Film and Media kicks off its first online script lab; Cartoon Network MENA gets kids involved in the fight against climate change; the Taipei Film Festival is postponed after an uptick in COVID-19 activity; and Tchéky Karyo will be honored at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival.

REALITY

2021’s Eurovision Song Contest was watched by more than 183 million viewers across 36 markets, according to results from EBU, and based on Glance, relevant partner and EBU Members data. Additionally, the program’s Grand Finale scored a four percent higher audience share than its 2019 counterpart, more than doubling the average primetime share for its broadcast slot.

The program was a particularly large success among younger audiences, where the Grand Finale was up 7 percent among 15–24-year-olds, meaning that nearly 53% of that age group watching TV during the time slot were watching Eurovision.

Online the contest was a smash as well, drawing 50.6 million unique viewers in 234 countries on the program’s dedicate YouTube channel. Eurovision also generated more than 14 million engagements across its social media platforms including, for the first time, TikTok, which achieved 4.3 million engagements.

HIRING

The Walt Disney Company has appointed Winradit (Win) Kolasastraseni as GM, direct–to-consumer, for Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia (excluding Indonesia). Kolasastraseni is also GM for Walt Disney Thailand, with effect from June 1, 2021. Kolasastraseni joins from Discovery, where he was GM of streaming service Dplay. Disney launched its Disney Plus streaming platform in Malaysia on Tuesday. It has not yet confirmed a date for launch of Disney Plus in Thailand, though it is reported to be imminent. – Patrick Frater

VACCINATION

On June 1, the Producers Guild of India (PGI) launched a vaccination drive for its members and associated production crews. The vaccination camps, with vaccines procured with the help of Excel Entertainment, are being held at Mumbai’s iconic Mehboob Studios and are expected to benefit thousands.  PGI president Siddharth Roy Kapur said: “We are happy that we are able to provide this facility to our members, their employees and the cast and crew of their productions as we work to get the industry back on its feet again in the weeks ahead.” – Naman Ramachandran

SCRIPT LAB

Bangladesh’s International Academy of Film and Media has commenced its first online script lab initiative with participants from Bangladesh and India. Italian screenwriter Giovanni Robbiano (“Tutti i rumori del mare”), former professor and head of the international department at the Prague Film School and an instructor at the Locarno Film Festival’s Open Doors script lab program, mentors the three-month long lab. The selected participants are Partha Sen Gupta, Mehedi Mustapha, N. Rashed Chowdury, Nurul Amin Robin, Sandip Biswas, Tayran Razzak, Towhidur Alam, and Jayita Mahalanobish from Bangladesh and Nandita Paul and Vivek Poddar from India. – Naman Ramachandran

KIDS

Cartoon Network has launched an EMEA-wide campaign in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund to get kids involved in the battle against climate change. Programmed in 18 languages, Cartoon Network Climate Champions will empower kids to take small personal steps which can help influence the health of the planet in the future. The campaign includes quizzes, games and videos which promote sustainability, as well as daily challenges shared on the network. Each challenge can be completed at home, in school and throughout the community and will include real-time demonstrations of how Climate Champions around the world are making a difference today.

FESTIVALS

The Taipei Film Festival will be postponed due to the recent flare up of coronavirus infections in Taiwan. The festival had been set to run June 24-July 10, 2021 and has already announced provisional new dates. These see the event running Sept. 23-Oct. 7, 2021, with winners of the new talent competition to be announced on Sept. 28. Taiwan’s surprise virus surge last week also caused the halting of the Golden Melody Awards. – Patrick Frater

AWARDS

Popular French actor Tchéky Karyo will be recognized with the Crystal Nymph at the closing of this year’s Golden Nymph Awards Ceremony, part of the Monte-Carlo Television Festival. On Tuesday, June 22, after four days of screenings and deliberations, the Fiction and News Jurys will also announce their selections for the best TV Programs in the world. Karyo will be presented the honor by Prince Albert II of Monaco in recognition of his outstanding body of work. Tchéky’s resume is diverse and prolific, including standout performances in international hit series such as “The Missing,” “The Name of the Rose,” “Zerozerozero” and “Possessions.”  The actor also set to return in the titular role for a new season of “Baptiste,” which has sold to more than 80 territories.

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