Information for Aussies – How to tune in and vote!

It’s that time of year again, and we want to make sure you all know how to get involved with the contest this year! If you’re unsure how to vote, when the show is on, and how to watch it, keep reading!

How to watch Eurovision 2016:

  • Watch via SBS

  • Watch via

When can you watch Eurovision?

Many may not  realise that SBS is actually promoting the repeats for their usual night time broadcast, rather than the actual LIVE shows. This is where you need to decide whether you’re watching Eurovision for the fun, or watching it to vote.

If you want to vote: You will need to watch the show live. What does this mean for you? Well, if you’re not a morning person, this may not be an option for you. Unfortunately due to time differences, the show will be broadcast at 5am AEST.

Due to the nature of voting, it has to be done live, which is why if you’re dedicated, you will have to be up nice and early. In Europe, the Semi Finals are on Tuesday and Thursday, which will translate to 5am on Wednesday and Friday. The final is on Saturday night in Europe, which means 5am Sunday for us.


  • Wednesday May 11th – 5am AEST

  • Friday May 13th – 5am AEST

  • Sunday May 15th – 5am AEST

If you don’t want to vote: This is a bit simpler. SBS will be broadcasting repeats of the show in their usual manner – that being, first semi-final on Friday night, Second on Saturday night, and then the final on Sunday night. If you’re not too concerned about finding out who wins, this is perfectly fine. As a warning though, if you would not like to know who wins, most Australian news broadcasts announce who wins, so try to avoid television, radio and social media (but if you’re that dedicated, you’re more likely to be up for the live shows). The shows will be on at 7:30pm on all of these nights. The semi-finals last for 2 hours each, and the final goes for 4 hours.


    • Friday May 13th – 7:30pm SBS One

    • Saturday May 14th – 7:30pm SBS One

    • Sunday May 15th – 7:30pm SBS One

How do you vote?

After all the songs are presented, voters have a 15 minute window to vote for their favourite songs (although you cannot vote for your own country). This year, as we are no longer automatically qualified into the final, we are a part of Semi-Final 2. This means that as Australians, we are ONLY allowed to vote in Semi-Final 2, and the final (and this is regardless to whether we qualify to the final, as ALL countries vote in the final).

Voting numbers will be shown throughout the show, so if you see a song you like, take note of the number so during that 15 minutes, you can quickly send those messages through to ensure your favourite gets a vote. You can vote up to 20 times during this voting period, and for as many, or as few countries as you like as long as it’s not your own country.

Some extra lessons learnt from last year:

  • Many people had issues with their phones being able to connect to the numbers – I personally had an issue with my mobile phone, which would not connect to the numbers shown on screen – best best is to use a home line, however please note that you will be charged

  • I personally like to write down the countries I would like to vote for, then put a number of how many votes I would like to give them – giving a total of 20 votes (or as many votes as you would like to give in total). This means that when voting time comes around, you can methodically work down your list of countries so you don’t forget anyone

    eg. Georgia (3 votes), Israel (4 votes), F.Y.R Macedonia (2 votes) etc.

  • Seriously, write down the phone number and country ‘codes’ immediately, add them to this list of countries you want to vote for. I couldn’t believe how fast 15 minutes goes when you have to call up 20 times!!!

  • You will know your vote has been successful when you hear a automated message thanking you for voting

Key Points:

  • SBS are promoting the delayed broadcast, not the live one

  • If you want to vote, set your alarm for 5am

  • Follow the prompts on the screen to vote

  • You can watch the show via SBS or online

  • We are ONLY voting in Semi-final 2 and the Final

  • Australians CANNOT vote for Australia – you cannot vote for your own country

If you want more information about the new voting system implemented by Eurovision this year, watch this video: