Eurovision pulls China's broadcasting rights after Irish entry censored

It is thought it related to the depiction of a same-sex couple

Eurovision pulls China's broadcasting rights after Irish entry censored

Ryan O'Shaughnessy is seen at a press conference following the first Eurovision semi-final in Lisbon | Image: Andres Putting & Thomas Hanses

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has terminated its partnership with a Chinese broadcaster from showing the Eurovision Song Contest.

It comes after Mango TV censored Ireland's entry in the first semi-final of the competition earlier this week.

It is thought this related to the depiction of a same-sex couple on stage during Ryan O'Shaughnessy's song 'Together'.

The channel was also criticised on social media for apparently blurring rainbow Pride flags from the broadcast.

The broadcaster also censored Albania's entry, reportedly due to the fact that tattoos were featured in the performance.

In a statement, the EBU said censorship is not in line with its values of universality and inclusivity.

"On the 9th of May, Chinese broadcaster Mango TV broadcast the first semi-final of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest live but two performances were censored.

"This is not in line with the EBU's values of universality and inclusivity and our proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music.

O'Shaughnessy performs in the first semi-final with his dancers (right) | Image: YouTube/Eurovision Song Contest

"It is with regret that we will therefore immediately be terminating our partnership with the broadcaster and they will not be permitted to broadcast the second semi-final or the grand final."

Commenting on the move, Ryan O'Shaughnessy told the BBC: "I'd like to welcome the decision by the EBU to do that.

"From the very start we've just said love is love - it doesn't matter whether it's between two guys, two girls or a guy and a girl.

"So I think this is a really important decision by the EBU - and they haven't taken this lightly.

"And I think it's a move in the right direction".

O'Shaughnessy will perform in the grand final in Lisbon on Saturday.