UEFA denies censoring Euro 2008 TV images

June 17th, 2008 - 11:41 am ICT by IANS  

Vienna, June 17 (DPA) European football governing body UEFA late Sunday denied censoring television images at the European Championships. A statement said that UEFA was “astonished” at allegations made by the Swiss and Austrian public television stations.

UEFA said the technical set-up “simply does not allow for censorship, as UEFA gives the television partners all the means to control their own broadcasts.”

The head of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation had reportedly intended to complain to UEFA over alleged censorship of television images during Euro 2008.

Director-general Armin Walpen told the Swiss newspaper SonntagZeitung that he would write to UEFA because it had not allowed images to be shown of crowd trouble during a June 8 match between Austria and Croatia.

UEFA provides a centralized production service for TV stations around the world. The worldwide production is directed by five international directors.

The match coverage is discussed every day with the television partners present including Swiss and Austrian television at the International Broadcast Centre in Vienna, UEFA said.

“To date we have had no such remarks regarding censorship of coverage, and, on the contrary, thanks to the partnership with UEFA, they have all benefited from access to the very heart of the action,” the statement said.

It said that broadcasters have permanent access to a vast choice of images which cover a large number of angles of any particular moment.

“In the Austria-Croatia match, the director made the choice to continue showing the action on the pitch rather than interrupt it with any other images,” the statement said.

“This decision was also the one of all broadcasters who were present and all the broadcasters who had access to the feeds. At this particular match there were 28 unilateral cameras, in addition to the 30 host broadcaster cameras, all capable of showing any incident. In addition some 70 TV commentators were also free to make any reference to events off the pitch.”

Moreover broadcasters can research images from any match via an electronic library, UEFA said.

“In other words, UEFA does not dictate to any broadcaster an editorial policy, but on the contrary, allows broadcast partners all the means possible to access a high level of production that allows each broadcaster to adapt its transmission according to its own needs,” the statement said.

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