So much of the magic that makes the Eurovision Song Contest a sight to behold is the live broadcast of the competition. Eurovision features dancers, video screens, pyrotechnics, bizarre props, the occasional hologram, and 4% of the world’s glittery confetti supply. If you are in the United States, here’s how you can watch Eurovision and see what Europe is up to these days.
When is the Eurovision Song Contest on?
- Tuesday, May 18 (First Semi-Final)
- Thursday, May 20 (Second Semi-Final)
- Saturday, May 22 (Grand Final)
All shows start at 9pm Central European Time, which is 3pm Eastern US / 12pm Pacific.
Where is the movie Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga?
Will Ferrell’s comedy about the Eurovision Song Contest debuted on Netflix in June of 2020. Netflix subscribers can find the movie here. If you want our thoughts about the movie, we talked about it in Episode 89 of the podcast.
Watch on Television
Currently no network holds the rights to air the Eurovision Song Contest live in the US. Logo used to air the Grand Final of the Contest, but low ratings and Logo not really being a thing since Drag Race moved to VH1 kept Viacom from renewing their contract.
Netflix acquired the rights to air Eurovision after the fact in July 2019. Up until May 2020, the full broadcast of both semi-finals and the Grand Final for the 2019 Contest were available on demand. However, this rolled off the catalog and since the 2020 Contest was cancelled, there was nothing in line to replace the show. Oops.
Netflix has not yet announced how it plans to air the 2021 Contest, but they currently hold the rights to do so.
Watch via Streaming
A livestream of both semi-finals and the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest will be available on Eurovision’s YouTube channel. However, since 2016 this content has been geoblocked due to music rights issues. Blerg.
Here are some workarounds if you want to watch any of the shows live:
- Access a virtual private network (VPN) with servers in a European country. If you use a password manager service, one of the features may include VPN access.
- Follow hashtags on Twitter such as #Eurovision or #ESC2021 and use your imagination from what folks are describing (not recommended).
- Watch a livestream provided by one of the participating countries.
How can I watch past Eurovision Song Contest finals?
Eurovision (the organization) and the fan community have done an excellent job in preserving the shows on YouTube. Following the cancellation of the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest, a project called #EurovisionAgain began as a way for fans to sync up and rewatch an old Contest and tweet along. The event was a smash and the EBU got involved not only to help with updating videos to HD quality but also working with broadcasters to restore and make available Contests prior to 2003 (again, rights issues).
Season 1 of #EurovisionAgain ran for 15 Saturdays from March through June. Season 2 is scheduled to take place the third Saturday of the remaining months of 2020. We chatted with #EurovisionAgain founder Rob Holley in Episode #85.