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The BBC's Paralympics coverage

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Kevin Bakhurst Kevin Bakhurst | 12:19 UK time, Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The Paralympic Agitos outside the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park

The Paralympic Games start in London on Wednesday. The television rights were awarded to Channel 4 by the organisers, Locog, and although we can't provide live TV coverage, BBC Radio 5 live and Radio 5 live sports extra will provide live commentary and reporting from the Games. Our local radio stations will follow the athletes from their home patches.

BBC TV News outlets will also report the stories of the Games, but we are restricted in the amount of footage we can use to illustrate reports and interviews and our TV crews have limited access to the Olympic Park. The sports news bulletins on the BBC News Channel will be presented live from our studio overlooking the Park, bringing the latest interviews and reaction.

Online, the 2012 portal will pool the best of the BBC's digital offerings across News, Sport and Regions. There will be dedicated Paralympics sections on our web and mobile sites, with the latest news, results, medals table, schedule and photo galleries, and a live text commentary page. And the team from the Ouch! disability blog will provide reports from the various venues, for their own blog and for the News website.

You can read more about the BBC's coverage of the Paralympic Games in this blog from BBC Sport's head of major events Dave Gordon, and this from 5 live deputy controller Jonathan Wall.

Kevin Bakhurst is deputy head of the BBC Newsroom and controller of the News Channel


  • Comment number 1.

    Great shame that BBC TV isn't providing Paralympic coverage as it did such a fantastic job during the Olympics. I know things have to be shared round, but I have a big aversion to TV advertising so rarely watch commercial channels live so I'm afraid this will probably mean I watch very little this time.

  • Comment number 2.

    Like Tipps...I cannot bear TV advertising and never watch commercial channels live. Thank goodness for PVR. If there is a 'must see' program on a commercial channel I record it so I can ff through ads. Even that is sometimes enough of a mood breaker that I give up. But I am recording the Paralympic opening ceremony because, for me, the Paralympics is even more inspiring than the Olympics.

  • Comment number 3.

    Terrible shame that BBC TV are not providing coverage of the Paralympic Games, the Olympics were amazing on the BBC. LOCOG are wrong in awarding it to CH4, adverts will spoil it.
    Do they matter less, if not why are they sidelined? My kids are just as excited. I will have to record it as it is term time in Scotland.

  • Comment number 4.

    Real shame the BBC is not covering this truly amazing event. Looks like I will be glued to channel 4 for the whole event

  • Comment number 5.

    I just assumed that Olympic coverage would continue on BBC to the Paralympics. The BBC coverage was staggering with 24 dedicated channels, will be interesting to see how Channel 4 compares.
    Anyway thank you BBC for a wonderful Olympic experience.

  • Comment number 6.

    Very disappointed that I have to go to Channel 4 to watch Paralympics. In my view this is demeaning to disabled - I have no axe to grind, as no disabled in my family, but think that there is more to celebrate for what they have achieved than able bodied athletes.

  • Comment number 7.

    I wish BBC was covering this. Ch4 has already spoilt it with their commentary, missing the initial fly-by (well, we caught a brief glimpse), the ads and with talkback breakthrough on the audio (we can hear everything the director says although it is quite quiet). And although they have some dedicated channels on satellite, not one was carrying the opening ceremony without breaks or commentary.

  • Comment number 8.

    Shame the BBC are not covering it live as they are do professional.

  • Comment number 9.

    It is unreal that this is being shown on C4. What a sad insult to the people taking part. This should be on bbc1. Locog should be ashamed. This is supposed to be an example of equality. Shame.

  • Comment number 10.

    BBC not covering the Paralympics is an insult to the British people. BBC should have made sure they had TV rights for the Paralympics any excuses are unacceptable the rights should not have been awarded to Channel 4. BBC is this county's official publicly funded TV station and had a duty to be covering the Paralympics games just as they did the Olympic games.

  • Comment number 11.

    Such a shame that the BBC cannot present the Paralympics. Channel 4 are doing just a terrible job at it.

  • Comment number 12.

    I believe that as a TV LICENCE payer, the Paralympics should have been covered by the BBC, as they are our national station. What an insult to the people who have overcome a lot more than their able bodied counterparts. Shame on you BBC, you could have paid more for the bid!!!!!

  • Comment number 13.

    Am watching the opening ceremony and am disappointed with the commentators comments. They have something bad to say about every country. All there political comments are not necessary. This is not a political affair, its the Olympics! I wonder if they will tell us about the high unemployment levels in England when the England team walks by.

  • Comment number 14.

    BBc should definitely be covering the Paralympics. Channel 4 have completely spoiled the event for me with their pathetic breaks for stupid, pointless adverts.

  • Comment number 15.

    Channel 4 are spoiling the coverage of the Opening ceremony. Why are we boing subjected to inane comments and ad breaks. BBC should be doing the coverage not the "Z" list broadcaster of channel 4

  • Comment number 16.

    I am watching this opening ceremony by C4 and it is driving me barmy. Commentary is awful and their are far too many breaks!!!
    Typical - treat the disabled people with no respect.
    BBC should be truly ashamed of themselves. They could have bid more for this once in a lifetime event. SHAME ON YOU BBC. You do not deserve our licence fees!!!!

  • Comment number 17.

    Been watching the C4 coverage and it was very poor, with constant ad breaks, selective coverage of teams, not nearly as good as BBC. Definitely second best, not the message that should be given.

  • Comment number 18.

    I thought the BBC was all about equality. How is it that the BBC could not secure the broadcasting rights to the Paralympics yet made sure they secured the broadcasting rights of the Olympics up to 2020? Shame on the BBC!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 19.

    The BBC did not cover the Olympic Games. Pictures were provided by the Olympic Broadcasting Service, who sold the coverage to stations around the world who added their own commentary and comment. As official broadcaster of the host city, the BBC did not have to pay. BBC bid, as I understand it, £3m against C4's £9m.

  • Comment number 20.

    @ 19 The BBC still had to pay to secure broadcasting rights of future Olympics until 2020? Still not a good enough reason for the BBC to turn their backs on the Paralympics.

  • Comment number 21.

    Absolutely disgusted that the BBC is not covering the paralympics.

    I hope that all money paid towards any contracts actually goes towards paying for the 2012 London games and does not become part of the IOC's profit margin!

  • Comment number 22.

    I have been so looking forward to the Paralympics.Tonight I was shocked at the amateurism of channel fours presentation of the opening ceremony.This does not bode well for the actual games.Does the BBC realise what it has done?I'll just have to make the most of a bad job!

  • Comment number 23.

    It's an awful shame the BBC don't have the Paralympics. It was an excellent opening ceremony to the games ruined by the incessant adverts and the inane jibber jabber of Jon Snow and Krishnan Guru-Murty over the top of everything. What relevance does the snippet 'lots of Russians go on holiday to Cyprus' have? Thanks for that insight Jon!

  • Comment number 24.

    Really excellent ceremony but what a shame Channel 4 is hosting the games. The BBC broadcast a fantastic Olympic Games earlier this month only to be let down by the amount of commercial breaks CH4 are showing.

    big shame.

  • Comment number 25.

    I am so frustrated this morning that I can't log on and watch the opening ceremony. I live in the UAE and during the Olympics the BBC allowed me to feel I was almost in the UK. Now I feel with Channel 4 its as though they don't want us to actually watch it! Just lucky I am back next week and have tickets to watch it for real, in the meantime will use the BBC to keep in touch with events.

  • Comment number 26.

    BBC don't have automatic right to cover everything - Paralympics and F1 cases in point. Over-coverage of Olympics alienated many license payers as BBC provided little alternative and spent far too much. So what will you broadcast to keep me from Ch 4? Oh dear! Not much, clearly. So what am I paying for?

  • Comment number 27.

    Last night's coverage of the Opening Ceremony by Channel 4 has probably secured the BBC licence fee for the next 20 years.

  • Comment number 28.

    Did you bid?
    Did you give all of our money to the IOC?

  • Comment number 29.

    Like Tipps, I hate the advert breaks - especially on something as awesome as this event. In fact, it was so annoying that my wife, who was more annoyed than me, suggested we give up watching it - so we did about half way through.

    In future, anything like this MUST be on a channel with no advert breaks!

  • Comment number 30.

    Britain’s Channel 4, after beating the BBC to win the broadcast rights, is planning to highlight the Games with 16 hrs of airtime everyday for 12 days starting on Wednesday. I do indeed like the fact Ade Adepitan is 1 anchor for the Channel 4. (Ade - British wheelchair basketball team, took bronze in Athens.)

  • Comment number 31.

    London’s Paralympics setting records - nearly all 2.5M tickets sold, beating Beijing’s 1.8M, expecting to draw combined television audience of more than 4B.
    In Canada, Paralympics not on main networks, TV coverage limited to 10 p.m. highlights on TSN2 & Sportsnet.
    I'm jealous of UK & upset with Canada.

  • Comment number 32.

    Shame BBC TV, as national licence/tax-payer funded broadcaster, with international kudos, is not covering the Paralympics but Sainsbury/Channel4 is.
    David Cameron has stated how important it is to Britain & World, to change the perception of disabilities, so puzzled why BBC failed to bid? Obviously the BBC has more important things to screen and perhaps 'disabled' athletes are not one of them!

  • Comment number 33.

    Factors Channel 4:
    - "home" = same time zone, meaning audience for live coverage bigger
    - chance for channel — known for Big Brother & American sitcoms - to get serious
    - to satisfy condition in its broadcast licence calling for it to develop creative & innovative ways to promote diversity.
    Cosgrove: “I think people were surprised when we beat the BBC.”
    Were you?

  • Comment number 34.

    Totally inappropriate coverage of the opening ceremony with ghastly ad breaks... which meant we actually missed seeing GB athletes entering the stadium. Madness! Couldn't watch any more after that. Unless something radical happens, won't be watching much more either!

  • Comment number 35.

    We shouldn't be surprised at the atrocious quality of C4 coverage (it’s not horseracing), but to continuously interrupt the opening ceremony with ad breaks was simply disgraceful and should be debated by Parliament. It was a disgusting insult to all the courageous and inspiring athletes. We turned it off in the end as it was just too much to bear - we'll watch the rest on video!

  • Comment number 36.

    BBC missed a great opportunity. Thank goodness I was there.

    Just watched there C4 recording and so much was missed. The some of the best parts.

    It is a shame the BBC didnt not rise to the occasion. C4 are not up to the job and whilst the BBC has its faults, it is so much better.

  • Comment number 37.

    Gentle tradition...

    Gentle and
    sweet sensibility,
    I call your
    attraction to give
    an appearance
    to that delicate

    Francesco Sinibaldi

  • Comment number 38.

    The C4 coverage is adequate, but the ad breaks are a real irritant....shame the BBC didn't get the rights....

  • Comment number 39.

    For the sports without the ads can I point you towards the Paralympic TV channel on youtube? Live & recorded coverage & also sports C4 isn't covering live eg rowing. Like others I'd like to thank the BBC on a great job during the Olympics, it was great to watch the events in the evening & see the action I'd missed through being a GamesMaker so being too busy to watch during competition.

  • Comment number 40.

    Havind reaad all the adverse comments about channel 4 coverage I think you should all cast your minds back to the recent coverage of the Olympics on BBC1 and remember all the breaks from the action to facilitate the prattling experts telling us what was happening,as if we couldn't see for ourselves,interviewing and reinterviewing and reinterviewing,analysing etc,etc,etc.ITS NOT NEEDED!!!

  • Comment number 41.

    BBC blowing its own trumpet with this topic.
    A.C4 has to earn money by advertising.
    B.BBC gets 3.4 Billion from us per year.
    C.Outside TV companys fed the BBC its coverage.
    D.Outside TV companys less interested in the Paralympics.
    E.Sky gets its revenue from ADS AND SUBS!!

  • Comment number 42.

    Many people will be watching the BBC coverage of the Paralympic Games with disabled athletes, the disabled group that’s being totally ignored by the BBC is the disabled people that are at this very moment demonstrating outside the offices of Atos.
    Once you start to realise the shame upon the BBC and the rest of the British media for not even mentioning a major demonstration by disabled people.

  • Comment number 43.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 44.

    Agree channel 4 should never have been given the para olympics tried to watch but found the adds very annoying why cant they stop them or even once every hour .

  • Comment number 45.

    Kevin, after spectacular coverage of the Olympics, I'm disappointed with BBC on the Paralympics. For me this event is truly inspirational - really a triumph of the human spirit and capable of driving confidence in so many. I'm sure there was commercial rationale but it's disappointing nevertheless.

  • Comment number 46.

    @#45 - Anna Sempe - agree with you that the Paralympics have the capacity to be a lot more inspirational than they are currently - with better coverage and more of a marketing push they certainly can be.

    To be honest, I agree with most of the comments above - the 2012 Olympics legacy could have been so much greater if the BBC supported the disabled at least as much as they did the abled...


  • Comment number 47.

    Was it not worth fighting for, BBC? Well, if any event shows what 'fighting' really IS, then this is it. I am ashamed that my country's broadcaster can't give great people such as Baker, Simmonds, Whitehead and all the world's paralympians a platform and recognition on a par with those able-bodied equivalents.


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