When the final of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest runs over the TV screens on the 26th of May it will most likely be with a significantly lower number of viewers from Denmark. An Olympic handball qualification match will probably be preferred by a lot of Danes.
Denmark is already qualified for the Men’s tournament in Handball, but the women national team, who has won the Olympic gold three times, will have to play a qualification tournament in order to make it to the Olympics in London this summer.
Three tournament with four team’s in each will take place in the days 25th to the 27th of May this year. In the first one held in Lyon in France the hometeam will be up against Romania, Montenegro and Japan. On the day of the final of the Eurovision Song Contest, Saturday the 26th, Romania plays against Montenegro at 14:45 and at 17:00 France is up against Japan. This match is then expected to be finished at 19:00 leaving the French fans with a bit of time for dinner before following Anggun in the Eurovision final.
In the second tournament we will see Spain up against Croatia, Argentina and the Netherlands – so also three Eurovision Song Contest participating countries here. This tournament will be played from Spain and the schedule shows no problems for people who would like to watch both national handball matches as well as the final of the Eurovision Song Contest. On the 26th of May the two matches will simply be played early: Already at 10:45 in the morning it will be Argentina v. Croatia and at 13:00 the Netherlands is up against Spain. With the match being finished two hours later there is no problem whatsoever for the Dutch and the Spanish fans either.
The problem for the Eurovision Song Contest fans comes when we look at the schedule for tournament 3 played in Gigantim, Aalborg, the same arena that hosted this year’s Danish national final. Here Denmark will be competing against Russia, Tunisia and Dominican Republic. Only two Eurovision participating countries, but on the 26th of May Russia will play against Tunisia at 18:45, meaning the TV viewers will just have to time switch channel on their TV to watch the final of the Eurovision Song Contest. The second match, Denmark v. Dominican Republic, is scheduled to start at 20:45, which does that the Danish TV viewers watching this will not be able to tune in to the Eurovision final before the voting is about to start.
With handball being quite big in Denmark and often bring extremely high marketshares for an important match there seems no doubt that the Eurovision Song Contest will be suffering a dramatic loss of TV viewers for the final unless this match is moved to the afternoon as we see for the matches in Spain and France.
It will be Soluna Samay representing Denmark at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. With the song Should’ve Known Better she will first be participating in the first semi-final on Tuesday the 22nd. If she makes it to the final on the Saturday it will then be interesting to see just how many Danes will be watching. Denmark won Olympic Gold with their female handball team in 1996, 2000 and 2004.
Danish commentator, Ole Tøpholm, confirms that it will indeed be a big handball day as he also points out that AG København plays Champions League that day as well – a match DR will broadcast where as the TV rights for the national match is placed with TV2. The Champions League match is however scheduled to be earlier and as such will be finished before the Eurovision Song Contest final starts. Ole Tøpholm says to EuroVisionary that he has not yet planned his commentary for the final and as such it is yet unknown if he will be providing updates.