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SBD Global/February 11, 2013/Media

Channel 4 Beats Out BBC, Winning $11M Bid To Broadcast 2014, 2016 Paralympics

The Int'l Paralympic Committee has awarded the U.K. TV rights for the Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games to Channel 4 "following a highly competitive tender process," according to Gareth A. Davies of the London TELEGRAPH. Channel 4 beat the BBC with "a bid believed to be worth about" £7M ($11M). The broadcaster will provide more than 45 hours of coverage from Sochi and 500 hours from Rio. Channel 4's Head of London Games coverage Deborah Poulton said, "Rio is the perfect opportunity to build on the legacy of the groundbreaking London 2012 coverage" (TELEGRAPH, 2/8). MEDIA WEEK's Arif Durrani reported Channel 4 "will also show coverage of major international para-sport events," including July’s IPC Athletics World Championships from Lyon, France, and August’s IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal, Canada. In addition to building on coverage of the London Games, Channel 4 has also committed to continue its marketing campaigns over the next four years, and "create a theatrical documentary, supported by Film 4 Production" (MEDIA WEEK, 2/8). The PA reported the popular "The Last Leg" program featuring comedians Adam Hills and Josh Widdicombe and presenter Alex Brooker, which "attracted more than 1 million views for its end-of-Games hour-long special," will return for Sochi and Rio (GUARDIAN, 2/8).

ASSEMBLING NEW STAFF: RADIO TIMES' Susanna Lazarus reported Channel 4 trained up to 10 new presenters and reporters with disabilities, a number of whom "are expected to reprise their roles" for future para-sports coverage. One of Channel 4's new reporters will "also be trained up to become a dedicated Paralympic correspondent on Channel 4 news" (RADIO TIMES, 2/8).
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