The Eurovision Song Contest is an annual competition held among active member countries of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
Each member country submits a song to be performed on live television and then casts votes for the other countries' songs to determine the most popular song in the competition. The contest has been broadcast every year since its inauguration in 1956 and is one of the longest-running television programmes in the world. It is also one of the most watched non-sporting events in the world, with audience figures having been quoted in recent years as anything between 100 million and 600 million internationally. Eurovision has also been broadcast outside Europe to such places as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Egypt, India, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States, Uruguay and Venezuela despite the fact that that they do not compete. Since 2000, the contest has also been broadcast over the Internet, with more than 74,000 people in almost 140 countries having watched the 2006 edition online.
- The first ever Eurovision Song Contest was held on the 24 May, 1956, in Lugano, Switzerland.
- In 56 years, over 1,300 songs have competed in the Eurovision Song Contest.
- Noel Kelehan conducted five winners (1980, 1987, 1992, 1993 and 1996).
- Dutch conductor Dolf van der Linden conducted for seven different countries (Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland).
- Johnny Logan won the Eurovision Song Contest three times. In 1980 and 1987 he represented Ireland as performer and won both times, in 1992 he wrote Linda Martin's winning entry Why Me.
- Poland made the most impressive debut in 1994, when Edyta Gorniak came 2nd with To Nie Ja, closely followed by Serbia's victory in 2007. Although Serbia & Montenegro had been represented twice before, it was the first time that Serbia took part as an independent country.
- Norway could be found at the bottom of the list as many as eleven times! The unfortunates came last in 1963, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1981, 1990, 1997, 2001, 2004 and 2012. Nevertheless, they also won three times (in 1985, 1995 and 2009).
- Ireland won a record seven times, Luxembourg, France, the United Kingdom and Sweden 5 times. The Netherlands won 4 times.
- ABBA is the most successful Eurovision Song Contest winner. The Swedish pop band won the contest in 1974.
- In 2008, a record number of 43 countries took part, just like in 2011.
- The most covered Eurovision Song Contest song is Domenico Modugno's Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu, also known as Volare. The song has been covered by famous stars such as Frank Sinatra, Cliff Richard, David Bowie and many more.
- Televoting was introduced in 1997.
- In 2004, the first televised Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Final was held. In 2008, a second Semi-Final was introduced.
- In 2009, some 124 million people watched the three live shows on television. In 2011, over 105 million people tuned in for the shows.
- During the Eurovision Song Contest Final of 2012, more than 1,5 million tweets were posted with the hashtag #eurovision, peaking already 20 minutes into the live broadcast (source).