Rules of the Eurovision Song Contest 2004
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IX. VOTING PROCEDURE FOR THE QUALIFYING ROUND AND GRAND FINAL
1. Tele- voting is obligatory in all countries of the Participating Broadcasters, and nonparticipating, EBU member, broadcasters transmitting the Qualifyer Round and Grand Final. If a request is made before 1 December 2003, the Reference Group may make an exception to the tele-voting rule for countries with a telecommunications reach of less than 80 % (and allow for voting by a jury in accordance with the rules below).
2. SMS voting may be obligatory in countries where the marketing partne r can ensure that all votes charged for, can also be counted, within a given time-frame.
3. Participating Broadcasters shall actively promote the tele-voting system within their respective countries and cooperate with the appointed marketing partners of the EBU, in supporting the operation of the system in accordance with EBU instructions.
4. Participating Broadcasters shall use the graphics supplied, by the Host Broadcaster, for presenting the televoting system on air, to the public.
5. The appointed pan-European televoting partner for the Eurovision Song Contest 2004 is Deutsche Telekom AG. Deutsche Telekom, and its affiliate Digame, will negotiate with each broadcaster individually, regarding the national aggregator for the televoting procedure and the national voting tariffs, taking into account the wishes of each broadcaster. National and broadcaster rules and regulations will be taken into account when the tariffs are set.
6. If a marketing partner for the tele-voting is not appointed by the EBU, for some or all countries, the relevant broadcasters shall be able to enter into national, individual arrangements for tele- voting, but it will be forbidden for any branding or sponsorship rights to be granted to the relevant service providers. In that case the following guidelines must be followed:
(a) There shall be a fixed voting window of ten minutes, subject to the decision of the Reference Group, with the lines opening and closing at exactly the same time as in all the other countries.
(b) Voters must be excluded from voting for their own country of residence, and this must be made known to the public.
(c) The lines provided to answer calls must be equally accessible to any of the numbers being rung. The telephone network must ensure that at least 80 % of the population of the country stands an equal chance of successfully telephoning.
(d) In each country the cost of voting or the rate at which calls are charged must be the same for all voters (e.g. the use of a national premium- rate code or other nongeographic code shall ensure this ).
7. In all countries broadcasting, and therefore voting, in the Qualifying Round and the Grand Final, a stand-by jury shall be created in case of a technical or similar failure in the televoting procedure. Such failure must be notified immediately, during the relevant television programme, to the EBU Executive Supervisor (and the reason must be confirmed by the notary by fax to the EBU Executive Supervisor). The EBU Executive Supervisor shall decide, during the programme, whether the stand-by jury votes may be used.
8. In any country where the EBU, in consultation with the Reference Group, makes an exception to the tele-voting rule (as a result of telecommunications penetration being less than 80%) a jury shall be used to determine the national votes for the Qualifying Round and/or Grand Final. The same jury may be used for Wednesday and Saturday.
9. The following rules apply to all juries (real or standby):
(a) The jury shall consist of eight members plus a (non-voting) chairperson. The voting procedure shall be monitored by a notary.
(b) Each national jury shall sit in its own country in the presence of the notary, whose task it shall be to ensure adherence to the rules below and to collect the completed voting papers and send them to the EBU Permanent Services in Geneva, where they shall be filed in the archives.
(c) Four members of each national jury must be representatives of the public and nationals of the country; the other four must be music professionals, and also nationals of the country. There should be an equal number of men and women on each jury, and a wide spread of ages.
(d) Only one of the four music professionals is allowed to be connected with a record company or music publisher.
(e) The names of the members of the national juries may not be disclosed until the end of the Grand Final.
(f) Each member of each national jury shall award from one to ten votes to each song, excluding the song presented by the Participating Broadcaster which has appointed him/her. Abstentions shall not be allowed. The members of the national juries shall register their votes for each song as soon as it has been sung, on secret voting papers which shall be collected by the appointed chairperson of the jury.
(g) The chairperson shall be responsible for counting the votes after each song has been performed, and for allocating points accordingly for the Contest Final results, after the last song has been sung. The chairperson shall allocate 12 points to the song gaining the most votes, 10 points to the song gaining the second highest number of votes, 8 points to the song gaining the third highest number of votes, 7 points to the next, and so on down to 1 point for the song gaining the tenth highest number of votes.
(h) In the event of a tie for any of the above positions, the order of the tying songs shall be ascertained by a show of hands by the jury members. If two or more songs tie for the same place, and if there is still a tie after the show of hands, the final order shall be decided by the vote of the youngest member of the jury.
(i) The results shall be handed to the notary, to be scrutinized and signed, before the notary passes them to the official spokesperson responsible for communicating the jury's final points, when requested to do so by the Host Broadcaster's presenter.
(j) The actual and stand-by juries shall assemble for the final of both the Qualifier Round (if applicable) and the Grand Final. They shall receive the sound and vision sequences of the final dress rehearsal of each song presented. They shall then hold a rehearsal of the voting procedure in accordance with instructions issued by the EBU Permanent Services.
10. The Host Broadcaster shall ensure the complete production of two live uninterrupted television programmes, each lasting a maximum of three hours, on each Eurovision Song Contest 2004 evening, in accordance with the top-level quality and editorial standards of all Participating Broadcasters. It shall also ensure delivery of the signal incorporating the productions to the Eurovision network.
11. The Host Broadcaster shall provide for at least three commercial breaks during the programme on each of the two evenings, for those Participating Broadcasters wishing to use them. Two breaks will be a maximum of one minute and thirty seconds each, once during the performing and once during the voting. The third break (interval act) is expected to run between five and eight minutes. As early as possible, but no later than the HoD meeting on March 22-23 2004, the Host Broadcaster shall inform the Participating Broadcasters of the detailed running order for the programme of each evening, and a detailed rehearsal schedule.
12. Product placement and on-screen, overt, or any other form of advertising outside the commercial breaks are prohibited during the live transmission on each evening, with the exception of on-screen iden