Gabba power failure causes TV broadcast blackout

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The Test continued but very few were able to follow it for part of the morning session

A major power outage at the Gabba resulted in television coverage of the fourth day’s play going off air during the morning session as the opening Ashes Test continued be hampered by technical issues.

The world feed – which is taken by all broadcasters with coverage of the match – went down midway through the session leaving the majority of viewers in the dark. Channel Seven, who share coverage with Fox Sports in Australia, were able to provide some pictures with their own cameras at the venue but that, too, was interrupted for a period.

Occasionally there was a view provided from just one end of the ground as broadcasters scrambled to get pictures back on air. The DRS was also unavailable during this time. After a 25-minute period of disruption, power was restored shortly after the drinks break and full coverage resumed across networks.

Radio commentary was able to continue during the blackout as Australian broadcaster ABC has a presence at the venue.

There have been technical difficulties throughout this match, with the technology that allows the third umpire to adjudicate front-foot no-balls unavailable while Snicko has not been working as part of the DRS.

Both of those problems emerged shortly before the match with Queensland border restrictions meaning further support could not be brought to the ground while technicians who are at the venue were not allowed to leave.

The lack of Snicko came to the fore on the third day when Australia thought Dawid Malan had edged behind. The absence of the no-ball system only became apparent on the second day when Ben Stokes dismissed David Warner but had overstepped, with replays then showing his first three deliveries had all been no-balls.

Broadcasters have been working with severely scaled-back production staff at the Gabba due to the restrictions put in place by the Queensland government. The full DRS is expected to be available in Adelaide.


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