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By ESPN Staff

Storms disrupt TV coverage of Germany-Turkey

VIENNA, Austria -- The end of Germany's 3-2 win over Turkey in the European Championship semifinal was a thriller that few outside the stadium saw.

A violent thunderstorm swept across Austria to knock out telecommunications for most of the second half of the gripping match. Television pictures reappeared briefly, but then vanished altogether for most of the last 15 minutes, when three goals were scored to give Germany a place in Sunday's final. Internet coverage of the game also was interrupted.

Spectators at the match in the Swiss city of Basel remained dry and unperturbed throughout. Only on Swiss TV and Al-Jazeera was the entire game available.

The problems arose in neighboring Austria, where lightning, thunder and torrential rain caused a power outage at the International Broadcast Center in Vienna, from which the telecast is beamed all over the world. ESPN cut back to its studio analysts during the outages and showed video of spectators watching at a FanFest in Basel.

ESPN announced that its networks will re-air the game in its entirety: Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN Classic and at 1:30 a.m. ET on ESPN2 and then on Saturday at noon ET on ESPN.

UEFA officials said the signal initially went down for six minutes in the 76th minute of the match, then "there were a couple of more interruptions," said Wolfgang Eichler, a UEFA spokesman.

Officials also shut down Vienna's main Euro 2008 fan zone and evacuated fans after the thunderstorm lashed the Austrian capital. Authorities said they gave the order to close the fan zone after the storm unleashed winds exceeding 60 mph.

No injuries were reported during the evacuation, which was carried out during the match.


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