FIFA vows to help al-Jazeera stop WC black-outs | sports | Hindustan Times
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FIFA vows to help al-Jazeera stop WC black-outs

sports Updated: Jun 13, 2010 19:15 IST

FIFA, on Sunday, said that it would help Middle-Eastern television network al-Jazeera track down the cause of black-outs in its broadcast of the World Cup's opening match in South Africa.

"FIFA is supporting al-Jazeera in trying to locate the source of the interference in the transmission of the FIFA World Cup," FIFA spokesman Nicolas Maingot said.

The black-outs are "unacceptable to FIFA", said Maingot, whose organization has sold the broadcasting rights of the tournament to al-Jazeera Sports and to other broadcasters in some 100 countries around the world.

The Doha-based broadcaster faced the wrath of viewers over the weekend after leaving them staring at blank screens for long periods during the opening game of 2010 World Cup between South Africa and Mexico.

In addition to picture outages, viewers were also exposed to sudden changes in the broadcast's language, with the commentary switching among Arabic, French and English - and sometimes to no sound at all.

Al-Jazeera has said the signal problem was caused by an act of sabotage on the Nilesat satellite, with one official describing what had happened as "television piracy".

But Nilesat, an Egyptian company operating satellites and their associated ground control station, maintains that it was an internal error on the part of the broadcaster.