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UEFA Could Face Compensation Claims Over Lost TV Coverage

Most soccer fans will remember the Germany-Turkey game not just for its high entertainment, but also because the international TV audience lost pictures of the game three times for a total of 18 minutes during the second half, missing two goals in the process. For older U.S. viewers it must have been like watching in the days of the NASL, when ad breaks would interrupt the coverage, but not the game, and they would hear the dreaded words, "And while you were gone, there was a change in the scoreline...."
 
Now UEFA could face compensation claims from broadcasters for the feed interruptions.  The BBC is expected to lodge a formal complaint after it was forced to broadcast radio commentary instead. There is also a question of breach of contract by broadcasters, such as German TV, which took the feed from Swiss television. The Swiss were unaffected by the outage, caused by a storm in Vienna, though it's hard to imagine UEFA penalizing TV stations for showing a game they'd already bought the rights to.
 
In the U.S., we were rewarded with live pictures of fans at the Basel fan fest, and ESPN commentators Derek Rae and Andy Gray awkwardly trying to fill in the time, second-guessing the action from the reaction of the spectators in front of a big screen still showing the game. "Have you ever been to a fan fest, Andy" asked Rae. "No," replied Gray unequivocally. Don't try and make small talk with a Scotsman.

Read the whole story at Times Online »

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