LOS ANGELES & GENEVA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The musical juggernaut Eurovision Song Contest has partnered with producer and television executive Ben Silverman’s Propagate Content and will debut the first-ever American Song Contest, during the holiday season 2021. The American Song Contest will welcome musical artists and bands from each of the 50 states and across every musical genre, to perform all original songs on the live televised event. The announcement was made today by The American Song Contest rights owners and producers Anders Lenhoff, Christer Björkman, Ola Melzig and Peter Settman, and Mr. Silverman.
The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the biggest televised events in the world, with more than 200MM people tuning in annually, a larger audience than the Super Bowl in the United States. During the Grand Finale, audience shares in 40 markets routinely double primetime viewership on participating networks, and among 15 – 34 year old audiences, the viewership is quadrupled. With contestants representing their home country and creating record-breaking national interest, the Eurovision Song Contest is a cultural event on a scale in Europe rivaled only by the World Cup and the Olympics, and has launched the careers of a wide variety of artists, including previous winners Celine Dion and Abba, as well as Julio Iglesias and numerous others. The U.S. music industry has long recognized the power of the event with Justin Timberlake and Madonna breaking new music on the show in recent years. The day after Justin Timberlake debuted “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” on the Eurovision Song Contest, the single hit #1 on the music charts.
The American Song Contest producer Mr. Lenhoff, on behalf of his producing partners Messrs. Björkman, Melzig and Settman, said: “Imagine if music was an Olympic sport and artists from all over the world came together to compete for the gold. That’s the Eurovision Song Contest. The American version will be different than anything seen before on U.S. television, marrying the fanfare and excitement of March Madness and the NFL playoffs with the artistry and beauty of world-class performances. The American Song Contest is a competition that happens to be televised, rather than a contest created to make a television show. And it’s open to all singers with a song, whether they are amateur artists or already signed to a major record label. No one is excluded from the competition.”
Said Mr. Silverman: “For more than 20 years, I’ve tried to bring the Eurovision Song Contest to the United States because it is the greatest and most successful format yet to be adapted. Before I found Who Wants To Be A Millionaire or there was a Pop Idol, Eurovision was dominating the ratings and charts. Put simply, there is nothing else like it on television. The sheer spectacle is amazing. It is a pure celebration of the best in music and the best of what music can be, produced by the world’s elite artisans in all fields of production. The Eurovision Song Contest has shown that it can unite different countries and artists for a few nights every year to focus on their mutual love and respect for music. Bringing The American Song Contest and the Eurovision brand to the U.S. is an incredibly ambitious project, but one worth doing, since we think these inherent values are intrinsic to uniting a fractional America through its greatest export and global impact … culture!!!”
As a lead up to the live televised competition, Propagate Content and The American Song Contest producing team will create The American Song Contest Academy, a group consisting of music professionals based in the U.S. that represent all genres and backgrounds. These members will create juries of artists and music industry notables who, along with the regional audiences, will select top talent from all 50 states to compete. These representatives of each state can be either solo artists, duos or bands with up to 6 members.
The format, as it is currently conceived, will position the artists head to head against other states’ representatives in a series of 5-10 televised Qualifier Competitions, leading to Semi-Finals and the ultimate primetime Grand Finale March Madness style.
Martin Österdahl, Executive Supervisor, Eurovision Song Contest: “The Eurovision Song Contest’s unique legacy dates back sixty five years and its worldwide popularity is still rising. It’s time for America to experience this spectacle, through its sister competition, the American Song Contest. Love of music is universal and celebration of music in different genres and styles can transcend boundaries and unite people. We are excited to have found the right partners to offer another series that our fans across the globe can fall in love with and to share this unique competition with the American people.”
Further details will be announced in the coming weeks.
The American Song Contest Team
With over 60 years of legacy, hundreds of hours of live television and over 1,500 songs from more than 50 countries, the Eurovision Song Contest is the world's biggest live music event uniting nearly 200 million people every May.
The force behind The American Song Contest and EBU’s brand entrée into America includes some of the top global minds in entertainment, music and television. Anders Lenhoff, one of Europe’s top creative producers, is joined by Peter Settman, a leading television entrepreneur and producer, Ola Melzig, a renowned television and mega-event producer, and Christer Björkman, who famously performed on the Eurovision Song Contest and later became one of its longest-running producers. The team holds the long-term license to run the competition in the United States.
Crucial to the team in the U.S. is Ben Silverman, the prolific producer and television executive who propelled the American version of The Office to global status as well as creating The Biggest Loser, finding and packaging Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Ugly Betty, Jane The Virgin and many more global hits. His company with partner Howard Owens, Propagate Content, has gained a reputation as a transformative content creator and developer for television, film and podcasts.
About Propagate Content:
About European Broadcasting Union (EBU):
About the Eurovision Song Contest:
The American Song Contest Executive Producers Bios:
PETER SETTMAN IS A LEADING TV ENTREPRENEUR AND PRODUCER IN SCANDINAVIA.
He founded and ran Baluba, which grew into the largest independent production company in the region before Settman sold it in 2009. He then started Brain Academy, which is an industry-leading production company for scripted content with operations in Europe and the U.S. Among his producer and director credits are Melodifestivalen, Playa del Sol and Swedish Dicks. Remarkably, Peter Settman also has a very successful career as a host for prime time entertainment, having been awarded Kristallen as Best Swedish Television Host twice.
OLA MELZIG IS ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS AND EXPERIENCED TELEVISION AND MEGA-EVENT PRODUCTION MANAGERS IN THE WORLD.
He has been Head of Production or Senior Technical Director for 15 editions of the Eurovision Song Contest in 12 different countries. This is the biggest indoor event in the world and roughly three times the size of the biggest outdoor concert tours. He has also been Production Manager for events such as The Nobel Prize banquet, The Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, Cinco de Mayo 150 Year Anniversary in Puebla, The European Games in Baku, as well as numerous award shows and rock tours and has been the featured keynote speaker at international conferences from Las Vegas to London, South Africa to Austin. Ola Melzig was crowned Production Manager of the Year at the TPI Awards in London 2017.
ANDERS LENHOFF IS ONE OF THE ELITE TV CREATIVES IN EUROPE.
In a career spanning almost three decades he has created, produced and/or directed 15 different TV shows that rated above 10% of the population. Apart from serving as Show Producer for the Eurovision Song Contest as well as Melodifestivalen, his other credits include the first-ever season of Expedition: Robinson, which turned into the global success Survivor, and international versions of the hit UK panel comedies QI and Have I Got News for You. He also created The Commission, a 12-episode political drama that was nominated for Prix d’Europe, produced the most successful comedy talk show ever in Sweden, as well as Sweden’s three biggest annual award shows, and directed the most successful long-running Swedish drama series, as well as two of the biggest sketch comedy series, Reuter & Skoog and Hipp Hipp. The latter won a Silver Rose for best light entertainment in Europe.
CHRISTER BJÖRKMAN IS A LIVING LEGEND AMONG EUROVISION FANS.
An avid fan of the competition since early childhood, he competed as an artist representing Sweden in 1992. His true legacy began in 2002 when he was appointed Contest Producer and Creative Director for Melodifestivalen, the Swedish selection show for the Eurovision Song Contest. At the time, Melodifestivalen was a crumbling format in steep decline but, with Christer Björkman at the helm, it quickly turned into one of the biggest TV success stories in the world. It has been, by far, the biggest entertainment show in Scandinavia for almost two decades, with ratings of up to 40% of the population and a share of 85% and beyond for the Grand Finale every year. During Björkman’s reign, Sweden has won the Eurovision Song Contest twice, making it the second most successful competing country in history with six victories in total. Christer Björkman is also the most experienced Eurovision Contest Producer ever with five shows and is a consultant to broadcasters all over Europe. Christer Björkman was awarded a Rose d’Or for the Eurovision Song Contest 2016.