EuroCup IBC Knocked Off Air By Violent Storms; Swiss, Al-Jazeera Only Networks Unaffected
Germany’s 3-2 win over Turkey in the European Championship semifinal was a thriller, but very few fans outside the ground in Switzerland saw it, either in victorious Germany or gloomy Turkey. The Associated Press reports that violent thunderstorm swept across Austria and knocked out power at the International Broadcast Center in Vienna, from where television images of the match were beamed around the world. The only broadcasters whose signal escaped the interruption were Swiss public TV company SRG in Zurich and Al-Jazeera, said UEFA, which couldn’t immediately explain why those feeds were unaffected by the Vienna broadcast center blackout.
With the match delicately poised at 1-1 in the second half at St. Jakob Park in the Swiss city of Basel, screens around the world flickered and went blank. Internet coverage also was hit by the blackout.
“Tonight the television signal in the International Broadcast Centre for the Germany-Turkey game has been interrupted several times in the second half due to technical reasons which are currently being investigated, in particular to evaluate the impact of the violent electrical storm over Vienna at that time,” UEFA said in a statement.
As the thunderstorm raged over Vienna, the images came and went several times in the closing minutes. Images returned in time for viewers to watch Lahm eliminate Turkey with a goal in the last minute of regulation time.
However, SRG spokesman Daniel Steiner, said the broadcaster has access to an official feed in all Swiss stadiums, and they were able to tap into that when the connection went down. The Swiss broadcaster provided the feed to German TV station ZDF for 15 minutes, during which time the two goals were scored.
The heavy rain, high winds and lightning also sparked the evacuation of a fan zone in downtown Vienna and two people were injured after being trampled in the rush to leave the area, police said.
Authorities said they gave the order to close the fan zone at 10:15 p.m. local time (2015 GMT) after the storm unleashed winds exceeding 100 kilometers per hour (60 miles per hour).
While the disruptive storm hit Vienna, spectators watching the game at the ground in Basel remained dry and unperturbed throughout.