Friday, February 26, 2010

No Live TV Coverage of 2010 Paralympics in UK or USA

In 2004 disabled BBC journalist Stuart Hughes, penned his disgust for the US media networks for ignoring 20% of their audience. Hughes wrote "This is nothing short of a national disgrace." In 2010 his network is joining the USA and turning its back on the Paralympics. Live coverage will apparently be absent in BOTH the UK and USA.

Just two weeks before the Paralympics and the US networks seem to be ignoring it. No announcement has been made one way or the other. But NBC and its sports network UniversalTV have no mention of the Paralympics on their scheduling. On 17 February the USOC confirmed by to me by email "Broadcast coverage for the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games has not yet been announced. Please continue to check www.usparalympics.org as it will be announced there as soon as information is available"

On 8 Feb Lewis Wiltshire, BBC sports editor wrote, in the comments section of his blog wrote: "we will be reporting the Winter Paralympics daily via news reports and this website using reporters and crews based in Vancouver and Whistler. There are provisional plans in place to stream the curling live through the BBC Sport website and BBC Red Button if the GB team make the medal rounds and we will also be broadcasting a one hour highlights programme on Monday 22 March on BBC TWO. We will not be broadcasting any other live coverage due to budget restrictions and the time zone factor. This decision was made several months ago." This is after BBC announced that 23% of the UK audience watched the closing 15 minutes of the 2008 Paralympics!

Fortunately, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has assured that everyone can enjoy live coverage of the Paralympics for free via the internet via Paralympic Sports TV, a station owned by the IPC. A schedule of live coverage can be found on the this article about the Paralympic Games.

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