Good luck watching the Euro 2008 semifinals on TV
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UPDATE 4:34 P.M.: ESPN is slightly more clued in on what happened during the game. Spokesman Mac Nwulu said that during every big sporting event -- the Olympics, the Euro Cup, etc. -- worldwide feeds are coordinated through one point: an International Broadcast Center (we mention it below). In this case it was the IBC in Vienna. A lightning strike killed the feed from the game, and then when the tournament’s governing body, the Union of European Football Associations, went to the backup feed, inclement weather killed that one too. Nwulu said sports producers told him that this was ‘the first time this has happened to this extent in recent memory.’
ESPN was able to show fans watching the game, though not show the game itself, because that footage was from a “complementary” feed in Basel, which wasn’t affected by the outage like Vienna was.
Also, to answer the question submitted by Roger Egon in the comments below: Neither ESPN nor any of the other international broadcasters were allowed to show any footage of the game that wasn’t from UEFA, as dictated by the broadcasting contract.