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Channel 4 lands 2012 Paralympics

Double Paralympic gold medallist Ellie Simmonds
Swimmer Ellie Simmonds was one of the stars of the 2008 Games

Channel 4 has been awarded the UK television rights for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

The London organising committee (Locog) announced its decision on Friday after a tendering process.

Channel 4 will deliver over 150 hours of coverage of the Paralympic Games and will cover key disability sport and sporting events in the run-up.

The BBC has covered Paralympic sport since the 1980 Summer Paralympics, which took place in Arnheim.

Locog chairman Sebastian Coe said: "The eyes of the world will be focussed on the Paralympic Games - the world's second biggest multi-sport event - in London in 2012.

"We will deliver a spectacular sporting showcase for the world's greatest Paralympic athletes and we are absolutely delighted to appoint Channel 4 as our broadcast partner in the UK.

"We are confident that the quality and depth of the broadcast coverage provided by Channel 4 not just for the 12 days of sport in 2012, but in the two-and-a-half years leading up to the Games, will inspire disabled people of all ages to take up sport and be a catalyst for continued change in public attitudes towards disability.

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"The commercial value of this deal has raised the bar financially for the Paralympic movement."

Channel 4's director of television and content Kevin Lygo added: "Channel 4 has done more than any other broadcaster to bring disability into the mainstream and we have a great track record of broadcast innovation with sports like Test cricket.

"We are genuinely thrilled to be given this opportunity to work with Locog to bring Paralympic sport into full public focus before, during and beyond the 2012 Games and to deliver a lasting legacy, including altering public attitudes to disability and disability sport."

ParalympicsGB said: "We congratulate Channel 4 on their winning bid and we look forward to hearing their detailed plans in the future.

We will do our utmost to work with Locog and Channel 4 to make the Games-time coverage a success.

"We believe this coverage is fundamental to achieving our legacy vision of using the power of the games to change attitudes towards Paralympic sport.

"Locog's decision has been based on what they believe is right for the event that will happen in 2012.

"Our challenge, within ParalympicsGB, remains two-fold. We must ensure that the 2012 coverage is a success but we must also have an eye on using the power of a home Games to inspire a change in attitudes to our sport so that the Paralympic movement continues to grow from now and is promoted beyond 2012."

In a statement, the BBC said: "We are disappointed to have not been awarded the rights to the 2012 Paralympic Games.

"We're proud of our traditions and record in covering disability sport. However, we are pleased that the Games will be available to free to air audiences, and we congratulate Channel Four on securing the rights.

"We are sure the 2012 Paralympics will be a great success."



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see also
Countdown call for Paralympians
03 Dec 09 |  Disability Sport
Team GB must use 2012 advantage
28 Aug 09 |  Disability Sport
Paralympic baton passed to London
17 Sep 08 |  Disability Sport


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