Eurovision for Asia?

SYDNEY • Asia-Pacific nations could soon have the chance to compete in their own version of the Eurovision Song Contest, which pits K-pop and Bollywood talent against Chinese and Japanese stars.

Australian broadcaster SBS said in a statement on Monday it had secured an exclusive option to bring the concept to the region, with an inaugural event in Australia possibly as early as next year.

If finalised, Eurovision Asia would bring together songwriters and performers from 20 countries and would be hosted in other competitor nations following its debut.

"Asia has an astonishing set of musical and visual cultures and it will make for brilliant television," said Blink TV director Paul Clark. Blink TV is SBS' production partner and is helping develop Eurovision Asia.

"Imagine - the musical virtuosity of Bollywood, the cutting edge of K-pop and the excitement of Chinese and Japanese artists - now the biggest music consumers in the world... it's a thrilling idea."

Blink TV said the show could reach an Asian audience of more than one billion. The existing competition is watched every year by about 200 million viewers.

Last November, Australia said it would compete in this year's Eurovision Song Contest, following its wild-card entry last year.

Eurovision, now in its 61st year, features acts ranging from the brilliant to the bizarre. It has enjoyed a cult following in Australia and was shown in China for the first time last year.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 23, 2016, with the headline 'Eurovision for Asia?'. Print Edition | Subscribe