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Page last updated at 16:13 GMT, Thursday, 26 June 2008 17:13 UK

Uefa may face action over outage

BBC football presenter Gary Lineker
BBC presenter Gary Lineker told viewers about the Vienna storm

TV companies are considering taking action after the transmission went down during a storm in the Euro 2008 semi-final between Germany and Turkey.

The transmission of live pictures to countries around the world failed three times during Germany's 3-2 victory.

Alexandre Fourtoy of Uefa said several events, including the extreme weather, had coincided to produce the blackout.

The BBC, one of many broadcasters to lose pictures during the match, is yet to decide whether to take action.

Uefa has switched to a different system for Thursday's semi-final.

The freak storm in Vienna on Wednesday saw lightning, heavy rain and winds of up to 87 mph, causing three power cuts.

Fourtoy, chief executive officer of Uefa Media Technologies, said: "It's a purely technical issue that we deeply regret, which (was due to) the coincidence of a lot of events including the weather which was pretty exceptional.

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Do not adjust your set: What happened to TV coverage during the match

"We were affected during the second half of the Germany-Turkey game by three micro-cuts, which are less than one millisecond.

"But this millisecond was enough to cause our master-control room to reboot and that took several minutes (each time) and that's why the signal was affected."

Fourtoy said he didn't yet know how many countries were affected by the TV blackout, but it affected a significant number of rights holders.

BBC head of marketing and communication Louisa Fyans said viewers had understood the problem was out of the television company's hands.

"There were nine million viewers and we only got 168 complaints," she said.

"People understood what happened and understood it was out of our control."

Fyans said no decision on future action had been taken.

"There's going to be a full investigation and then we'll decide what to do."

Uefa spokesman William Gaillard said that if the storm had happened during the Vienna semi-final it was likely the game would have been halted.

"It is obvious if you are playing a football game in this kind of weather the referee may decide to suspend it for a few minutes," he said.

"Fortunately, the whole weather situation lasted for 25-30 minutes so that, if it had been in Vienna, it could have stopped the game. It is not the sort of weather that we usually get in June in central Europe."

The heavy rain, high winds and lightning also sparked the evacuation of a fan zone in central Vienna.

Authorities said they gave the order to close the area at 2215 local time as the storm raged in.

Two people were injured after being trampled in the rush to leave the area, police said.

see also
Germany 3-2 Turkey
25 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Coach Low targets Euro final win
26 Jun 08 |  Germany