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A history of the Rose d'Or Awards

September 28, 2015

The awards were founded in 1961 by the then director general of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Marcel Bezençon. Bezençon’s mission in creating the Rose d’Or was a mission that underpins the EBU today - sharing content to empower all. He had the idea that national broadcasters could produce entertainment programmes to swap with each other. This was called the Rose d’Or Festival. The first edition took place in the spring of 1961 in Montreux, Switzerland, where it would stay until 2003. The idea was - to help participants have programmes ready for broadcast in the summer. The individual award, the coveted Golden Rose, was conceived to recognise one of these programmes. The first was awarded to the BBC for the Black and White Minstrel Show. Global stars of culture and light entertainment have since collected the Award. This eminent list of victors includes Barbara Streisand, Monty Python, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Kurt Browning.  

In the 21st century, new international formats started to be put to the fore at the Rose d’Or - formats that came to be essential parts of household television viewing schedules across the globe. Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Idol, the Weakest Link and many others were amongst those showcased annually in Switzerland.

The Festival moved from Montreux to Lucerne in 2004 and remained there until 2012, the Festival’s 51st year. The rights transferred to the Swiss media group Ringier in 2009, and returned home to the EBU and Geneva in 2012. Today the Rose d'Or Awards remain one of the world's most prestigious awards for entertainment programming. The competition remains an international celebration of comedy, drama, and entertainment. 

In 2014, when the gala was held in Berlin, the competition categories were extended to include radio and online video programmes in addition to the traditional focus on television.  The event now has eleven award categories, and recent entries and winners coming from countries as globally distant as Belgium, Australia, South Korea and Canada.

With applications this year from more countries and media organizations than ever before, in 2015 the Rose d’Or is building on its heritage and providing the ultimate showcase for the best of the world’s entertainment programming. 

Submit your application by September 30, 2015.