Sadly RTP, the Portuguese national broadcaster has confirmed that Portugal will not participate at the forthcoming 2016 Eurovision Song Contest.

RTP has released the following statement:

RTP communicates that we will not take part in this years edition of the Eurovision Song Contest held in Stockholm, Sweden (10, 12 and 14th of May 2016). After a long and careful evaluation of our participation at the event and the need to replace and create new program contents, RTP’s Program Direction team decided not to consider ESC as one of them. After decades of participation on this great event, we’re taking a break, but we promise a comeback at 2017’s edition.

They have given no further reasoning regarding their decision. This is the 2nd time in 4 years that Portugal will be out of the competition, having withdrawn from the event back in 2013. Portugal joins Andorra, Luxembourg, Monaco and Slovakia all of whom have  confirmed their absence at next year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

Portugal debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1964 and has never won the event. The country’s best result in the competition was achieved in 1996 when Lucia Muniz placed 6th with her entry O meu coraçao na tem cor.