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’re 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?
Eurovision 2021 is currently scheduled for:
- 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 / 3pm Eastern US / 12pm Pacific.
Where is the movie Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga?
Watch on Television
Currently no network holds the rights to air the Eurovision Song Contest live in the US. Logo aired the Grand Final of the Contest from 2016-18, 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 on a delay in July 2019. The full broadcast of both semi-finals and the Grand Final for the 2019 Contest were available on demand until May 2020. With the 2020 Contest cancelled there was nothing in line to replace the show when it rolled off the catalog. 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.
- Follow hashtags on Twitter such as #Eurovision or #ESC2021 and use your imagination from what folks are describing (not recommended).
- Watch a livestream provided through 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 Contest 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 to remaster video to HD quality and work 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 took place the third Saturday of the remaining months of 2020, with the December edition featuring songs from the semi-finals that did not advance. We chatted with #EurovisionAgain founder Rob Holley in Episode #85.
Can I watch the national selection finals?
Yes! From December to March several countries will have competitions to select their Eurovision representatives. Most (if not all) will be streamed online, either through that country’s broadcaster website, YouTube channel, or some other legitimate venue. No dark web shenanigans necessary! Just a heads up, the shows will probably be conducted in that country’s language, but you should be able to follow along since singing competition formats are pretty universal. We keep a calendar here with links to where you can watch: