The news of the withdrawal of Turkey and Bosnia and Herzegovina in one day is genuinely shocking news. Bosnia's decision appears to be due to financial reasons, however Turkey's decision is in light of recent rule changes in the contest such as the 50:50 voting and the big 5 rule. This means that we are currently looking at a contest of 40 or less countries (current projection is 39, assuming only Armenia returns), which is concerning.
Given that at least two of the four of the countries who have withdrawn have withdrawn due to financial costs of the contest it will be interesting to see if the changes that will be introduced by the EBU this year will actually allow for a reduction in the participation fees for countries who cannot afford to pay.
Though there has been some discussion about the costs of coming to Eurovision for two weeks and the price of that particularly in an expensive country like Sweden, it still is a problem. I would argue that more should be done to assist helping with the expense of the contest. While some have discussed shortening the rehearsal times you still are probably looking at a ten to twelve day contest which would represent a 14%-25% cut in the costs of accommodation, which is probably one of the biggest costs that are part of the contest outside the participation fee. Given that we are also looking greater numbers of performers on stage in the future (i.e. changing from a max of 6 to a max of 8) this is likely to off set any gains on the accommodation expense.
However I would argue that the EBU should seek to minimize costs through simple things such as hiring out whole hotels for competitors, rather than leaving individual countries to find their own accommodation. How costs to individual delegations can be minimised by using a certain city, particularly for countries that are large enough to have competition for the contest, should be taken into account when selecting a host city.
I understand that my inner accountant has probably had to much say in this piece but there you have it.