I wrote here a few weeks ago about the BBC and the Paralympics, and the fact the rights to the London Paralympics were being marketed by the organisers. Well, we heard today that they've decided to award the contract to Channel 4.
Naturally, we're disappointed that we won't be able to continue with our tradition of covering disability sport in the Paralympics - and we remain enormously proud of what we've achieved over the years. But we congratulate Channel 4, and I'm pleased that the argument about free-to-air coverage has been won: the Paralympics won't be behind a pay barrier, and they'll be available to anyone who wants to watch them within the UK.
As for the BBC, we know we have an incredible portfolio in 2012. A combination of the Olympic Games on home soil, the first Diamond Jubilee since 1897 and all the many entertainment, arts and sport build-up events will mean an unprecedented year for the UK with the BBC telling the story across all our services and platforms. We will, of course, continue to support the Paralympics too - and our commitment to disability sport in general remains.
Inevitably, today's decision means we'll be showing our normal schedule on the main television channels instead of what we'd offered as our most extensive ever live Paralympic coverage. But we unambiguously want the Paralympics to be as much of a success as the rest of the year, and and we wish Channel 4 all the best with their coverage.