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Swiss TV pulls plug on Olympic closing gig

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Photo: Matt Deegan
10:35 CEST+02:00
Switzerland's national TV network, SF, received an earful of complaints after the broadcaster pulled the plug on coverage of the closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic Games before the event ended.

SF switched to advertising before the ceremonies ended shortly after 1am.

As a result Swiss viewers missed a performance by British group Take That and the extinguishing of the Olympic flame.

The move unleashed a torrent of comments on Twitter from people upset about missing the last moments of the historic sporting event.

“That’s impossible!” tweeted Mark Gillies, editorial director at Tele Züri, who noted that the event was live.

“We are speechless.”

On Monday morning, SF’s customer service department issued an apology for the premature ending of the broadcast.

The finale followed a disappointing Olympics for Switzerland, brightened by gold medals from equestrian athlete Steve Guerdat in show jumping and Nicola Spirig in the women’s triathlon.

Roger Federer, a favorite to win gold in the men’s singles tennis tournament, had to settle for silver after losing to Britain’s Andy Murray in the final.

The match was a replay of last month’s Wimbledon final that Basel native Federer handily won.

Guerdat received a hero’s welcome when he returned to Switzerland late last week to a boisterous reception at the Zurich International Airport.

Spirig is also being hailed as a national sports icon after her dramatic photo-finish win in the triathlon on August 4th.

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Over the weekend, the Court for Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that Swedish triathlete Lisa Norden would not be awarded a joint gold medal with Spirig.

The tribunal denied an appeal made by Sweden after the two athletes finished with identical times of one hour 59 minutes 48 seconds.

Spirig was given the nod for first place in a "field of play decision" by officials who ruled that her torso breasted the tape ahead of the Swede.

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