November 23, 2013 - 14:29 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Bulgaria and Serbia have pulled out of next year's Eurovision Song Contest because they cannot afford it, Sky News reported.
The countries have joined a list of former contestants who have withdrawn from the contest in Copenhagen due to economic hardship.
Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Andorra have also decided not to participate.
Bulgarian National Television (BNT) said the cost of taking part in the contest -including the entry fee and special effects - had grown steadily since 2005.
"Given the cost of this project and pending budget cuts next year, BNT decided to withdraw from Eurovision Song Contest as a first step in the financial constraints the television will have to take," a BNT statement, in the Sophia Globe, said.
Meanwhile media in Serbia reported a statement by the Serbian Broadcasting Corporation announcing its withdrawal.
"The continuity of participation of Serbia in the Eurovision Song Contest is terminated due to financial reasons," the statement read.
Although Bulgaria has competed in the contest since 2005, it has rarely reached the final stage. Its best position was in 2007, when drumming duo Elitsa Todorova and Stoyan Yankulov came fifth with their song Voda.
Serbia won the contest in 2007 with it debut entry - the ballad Molitva by Marija Šerifović. Serbia did not qualify for the contest in 2013.
Last year's winner was Denmark's Emmelie de Forest with the song Teardrops. The performance was watched by an estimated international audience of 125 million people.
The contest has been broadcast every year since 1956 and is one of the longest-running television programmes in the world.