OPINION: Guy delivers at Eurovision

LIKE 325,000 other Aussies I set the alarm for 5am on Sunday morning to watch Guy Sebastian sing us proud at Eurovision 2015.

I first stumbled across this quirky singing competition more than 20 years ago when channel surfing for something to watch on late night television.

The strange songs and British TV presenter Terry Wogan's unique take on the whole event got me in, although I haven't been a regular viewer for some time.

When I heard that we would be sending Guy Sebastian over to actually compete in the competition it perked my interest up once again.

It was a massive ratings winner for SBS who have been loyal to Eurovision for three decades and now send their own presenters over to commentate on the show.

The SBS executive who promoted the idea to have an Australian performer at Eurovision deserves a major bonus.

For the voice of ethnic Australia this was all about making a massive statement on the eve of controversial legislation getting introduced in Federal Parliament.

That legislation is to allow SBS to screen 10 minutes of advertising in prime time, instead of the current restriction of six minutes an hour.

SBS has been selling out of prime time slots and told the government that it could earn $28.5 million in additional revenue over the next four years if granted the extra time.

They suffered significant cuts to their government funding in the 2014 budget and have been pushing the argument that this was a way to recoup that money without having to make substantial program cuts.

Sunday's telecast was a great success for SBS and also for Guy Sebastian who did Australia proud. His knock-about character shone through helping him win thousands of new European fans.

That was immediately recognised when his Eurovision song raced up iTunes Charts throughout the world.

Even in Estonia his song, Tonight Again, was trending at No.7.


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