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BBC committed to Paralympics coverage

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Dave Gordon | 15:12 UK time, Wednesday, 22 August 2012

With the Olympics fresh in the memory and some experiencing 'withdrawal symptoms', a number of you are asking about our plans for the Paralympics. Will we be replicating the extensive Olympic coverage across all of our output when the Paralympics start in a week's time?

The answer is, unfortunately, no. The simple fact is the television rights for the Paralympics were awarded to Channel 4 by the London organisers, Locog. We've known about this since January 2010 and my colleague Roger Mosey blogged about it at the time.

So, the reason is not that we think the Paralympics doesn't deserve all-embracing coverage. On the contrary, the BBC has had a long standing commitment to the Paralympics and indeed a proud tradition of covering disability sport - one that's valued by sports governing bodies here in the United Kingdom and envied around the world - so it would be bizarre for us to make such a decision without cause.

As a result though, we are unable to provide any live TV coverage of the sporting action this time. We wish Channel 4 well and are pleased that some of the faces and voices that the public enjoyed through the Olympics on the BBC, such as Clare Balding and Jonathan Edwards, will be seen and heard in their coverage. Some of their production staff have also worked for and been trained by the BBC.

Despite this, the BBC still has a major stake in the success of the Paralympics. BBC Radio 5 live and Radio 5 live sports extra will be the home of live commentary and reporting from the Paralympic Games. As we did so successfully during the Olympics, it will be our privilege to showcase the main events, feature the key athletes and personalities and conduct the national conversation surrounding the Games.

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson won 11 gold Paralympic medals between 1992-2004. Photo: BBC

Legendary Paralympic athlete Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and swimmer Marc Woods will be at the heart of our programmes presented daily from the Olympic Park. John Inverdale will be hosting coverage through 5 live Drive and 5 live Sport, whilst Shelagh Fogarty will present her 12-2pm show from Olympic Park. Other shows such as Breakfast will also, at times, be presented from the Park.

The BBC network of 40+ local radio stations, including BBC London, will also feature those athletes making an impact on the Games. They have reported on their progress in the months leading up to the Games and their unrivalled reach will ensure the stories and achievements of our athletes can be reported back to every corner of the UK.

It will also be a priority for our BBC TV News outlets and local television stations to report the stories of the Games. In common with other non-rights holders, we have no access to venues and limited access to the Olympic Park. Plus, we are also restricted in the amount of footage we can use to illustrate any reports and interviews. Nevertheless, we will, with the co-operation of Paralympics GB, get opportunities to interview athletes after they have competed and we are committed to featuring their exploits across our network and regional news programming.

We are also making a strong digital commitment to the Paralympics. There will be dedicated Paralympics sections on our web and mobile sites, where you will be able to find all the latest news, results, medals table, schedule and photo galleries, as well as following the action throughout every day via our ever-popular live text commentary page.

You will be able to listen to live action at while we will also showcase the best bits of 5 live - commentary highlights, interviews, video clips - via one easy-to-use page. You will also be able to visit the BBC 2012 portal to find the best of the BBC's online offering across News, Sport and Regions in one place.

As you can see, we are fully committed to reflecting the Paralympics across the BBC despite the absence of live TV sports coverage. The Paralympics is one of the landmark events of 2012. It will be the biggest ever and we fully recognise that this is a big opportunity to continue to build the profile of the Paralympics and disability sport with our audiences, as the BBC has done so successfully for many years.


  • Comment number 1.

    I assume "(link to a story about our website winning award)" should be a link

  • Comment number 2.

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

  • Comment number 3.

    Thanks dahipster - that's being changed.

  • Comment number 4.

    "The simple fact is that the television rights for the Paralympics were awarded to Channel 4 by the London organisers, Locog."

    You make it sound like the BBC had no control over this.
    Presumably there was some kind of bidding process for this (not outlined in either your or the linked blog from 2010), and Locog felt either the quality of the coverage or the price paid were more appropriate by Channel 4.

    'Simply', the BBC don't have rights because they didn't prioritise them (similar to the situation with F1), yet try to make it sound like it is beyond control and still try to brag about the quality of the output.

  • Comment number 5.

    BBC. OK, I can accept that you didn't win the rights to the paralympics but suspect that that was because you didn't try too hard. How about making amends.

    The paralympics are not inclusive of all disabled athletes since learning disabilities are excluded. Why don't you start a concerted campaign to bring learning disabilities into the paralympics, after all it's quite an unfair, even discriminatory, state of affairs when half the disabled population are excluded because of the type of disability that they have. After all, that is the whole point of the paralympics is it not, to make sport inclusive for all?

  • Comment number 6.

    I agree with f1fansp, it's not that the BBC didn't have the control, they just didn't have it as a priority. It's pretty much the same for sport all round on the BBC - it's not a priority. Instead, we get OUR LICENSE FEE spent on expensive and rubbish flops like THE VOICE, and yet more TEDIOUS DETECTIVE DRAMAS. Barely any football, no grand national, no cricket, only half a season of Formula 1 which is pathetic (and will no doubt lose all coverage in a few years time) - wonder what's next on the BBC's agenda. Whatever is a loss to the BBC though is another channels gain - I'll quite happily watch the vast football coverage on ITV and the Grand National on Channel 4. The BBC's sport portfolio is an embarrassment.

    Proof that the BBC is on a steady decline. Nothing to do with budgets, etc, simply to do with the muppets who run it.

  • Comment number 7.

    F1fansp - I assume if you have a television then you still get Channel 4? Therefore perhaps instead of trying to draw a negative to the quite detailed explanation from the BBC then you should watch what you'd like to on Channel 4.

    The BBC can only be commended on how they covered the games, some have said they were biased towards Team GB. I would say I wouldn't expect anything less from the British Broadcasting Corperation.

    Well done (again) to the BBC, thanks for the explanation and good luck to Team GB in the Paralympics.

    PS - Skysports F1 coverage is fantastic.

  • Comment number 8.

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

  • Comment number 9.

    @ 7. Paul Haines
    Could not have put it better myself. The BBC's coverage of the Olympics was exceptional. The fact that they were biased was completely understandable and Sky Sports F1 covers F1 in a manner that lets nobody down. Anybody that says any different either is not an F1 fan or is picking at the BBC for the sake of it

  • Comment number 10.

    I think those suggesting the BBC didn't see Paralympic coverage as a priority are being a little unfair. Just because Channel 4 won a bidding process doesn't mean the BBC didn't make a competitive bid. It's also true that BBC's bids for sporting rights are constrained in ways that other broadcasters aren't. The BBC had no control over Channel 4s bid and had budgetary controls over its own bid.

  • Comment number 11.

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

  • Comment number 12.

    I suppose the BBC's thought police will be removing all criticism of the paralympics as usual.

  • Comment number 13.

    What has F1 got to do with the Paralympics or the Olympics for that matter?!

    Fact: when has any F1 race on any terrestrial channel ever got audience figures to compete with those with the 2012 Games..? Button's Championship winning season with Brawn wasn't even in the same league with Super Saturday et al.

    F1 is a niche sport, and has the right home at Sky. By all means lets call the Beeb out on why they didn't go out their way to secure the Paras but the F1 debate is both irrelevant and over..!

  • Comment number 14.

    The BBC coverage of the Olympics across all platforms was exceptional and really facilitated the "feel-good" factor that has taken almost all of us by surprise. We want some more of that at the Paralympics. I am assured by the sentiments here that they will do their best without the rights.

    Just a couple of thoughts though. C4's promotion of the Paralympics has been totally committed and very innovative. I'm sure they'll do a fantastic job. Also, would the BBC have been more keen on bidding if the football season, the X Factor and the autumn ratings hysteria hadn't started before these Games?. And given the current climate of Olymilove, are they regretting not bidding more?

  • Comment number 15.

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

  • Comment number 16.

    I must admit I was fully expecting the BBC to be covering this event in full, but I'm sure Channel 4 will do a good job. All of this is quite an amazing experience. I remember clearly the day we were awarded the games and the awful day after. Seven years later it's happened and now we await the "encore". I was lucky to be able to go to the Olympic Games and I'm equally privileged to be going to the Paralympics too, so it'll be just as much fun to see how Channel 4 do. Good luck to them!

  • Comment number 17.

    @13 There's nothing wrong with having a debate about bbc's overall sport coverage..The argument over F1 is that it should be a free to air sport,look how long its been free to air..if your wanna compare F1 to Olympic t.v audiences then surely you should compare every other sport that the BBC shows live to the Olympic t.v audiences..I.e Rugby League.No sport will hit the same audiences as the Olympics except the World Cup Final.F1 should have stayed free to air just like how Cricket on C4 used to be free..It's frustrating watching Half a season live on much as I enjoy Top gear but the amount of money they use on that program to destroy cars or drive them across continents..or how much they pay presenters.That money can be used elsewhere.

  • Comment number 18.

    And not everyone can afford to pay £40 a month to watch sport.

  • Comment number 19.

    Good explanation. How nice that someone will be showing it. Here in Brazil we had terrible Terrestrial coverage with little information of the athletes or those not Brazilian, I love the the feeds I could hack into from BBC were amazing and Channel 4 I´m sure will be motivated to better them (fingers crossed).

    We get all the F1 coverage we want, but fortunetly its on too early for most of us to bother either!

  • Comment number 20.

    It's clear the BBC was willing to invest everything needed to ensure that it had the rights to the Olympics (it won't even reveal how much it paid, NBC paid $1.3Bn for US rights) and to ensure that there was wall to wall coverage (which I'll freely admit was superb).

    It's equally clear that they were not willing to make the same commitment towards the Paralympics (for which C4 reportedly paid only £5m). BBC coverage of the Beijng Paralympics was markedly disappointing, largely focussed on a daily highlights show. Compare that to what we've just seen, and to the 500 hours of coverage C4 are promising for the London Paralympics.

    You can dress it up in as many pretty words as you want, but the BBC has sent a very clear message on where disability comes in its priorities.

  • Comment number 21.

    Whilst i was thoroughly impressed with the BBC's coverage of the Olympics which was exceptional (and i wish for the BBC to continue broadcasting the Olympics for a very long time) I have been a little disappointed with the commitment to some other sports. I am not sure about the circumstances surrounding the Paralympics but was left frustrated when C4 beat the BBC to the rights for the last Athletics world champs which had previously been shown on the beeb. I fear that despite the success with the olympics other sport's main championship events will disappear from the portfolio due to the investment in other (seemingly unsuccessful) shows.

  • Comment number 22.

    To post 15. I care, hand on heart or otherwise. Just because someone has a disability it doesn't mean they can't live a complete and fulfilling life, sport included. I also feel that, "By the grace of God, there go I". I feel very grateful to be able-bodied, I really do.

  • Comment number 23.

    i presume in the same vein, channel 4's bid to televise the Olympics was rejected as they didn't try too hard ?

    Channel 4 will undoubtably do a good job, and good to see sporting events being spread around

  • Comment number 24.

    @15: "how many people hand on heart really care about the paraolympics?"

    I do, for one. I wouldn't have applied to be a volunteer for it (and succeeded) if I didn't care about the Paralympics, and I will be doing my utmost to help the athletes taking part gain the respect and attention they deserve.

  • Comment number 25.

    It is interesting to read peoples comments re the TV coverage they should just think themselves lucky. I am in US though I did visit back home for a week during the Olympics and caught a lot of the great BBC coverage. During the Olympics NBC pr as some call them No Body Cares had the coverage. Opening was not live and cut, games events were limited and often cut with adverts and the closing ceremony was not live and cut by 30%... That was the main Olympics, The last two Paralympics have had none and 30 minutes a day cpverage in the "caring" USA, so I expect it again hard to share these games.. Just think yourselves lucky you have coverage and spare a thought for us exiled Brits.

  • Comment number 26.

    @15 On July 26th not many people "cared" about the Olympics. Gold medal for missing the point and Silver medal for spelling.

  • Comment number 27.

    Saying the BBC does not care is ridiculous, If the BBC had an unlimited amount of money, I am certain we would see live sport 24 hours a day on a dedicated channel.

    Saying F1 should be a free to air sport, Why? It has no more rights than any other event to be televised. In fact it probably has less and those advocating for F1 to be free, well they really should take it up with F1. They should be asking why an industry based on advertising should be charging TV so much, just to display the logos of all and sundry.

    I am just happy that the paras will be shown on free to air.

  • Comment number 28.

    Honestly....whinge, whinge, whinge. I presume most of the commentators here are able to are able to switch channels.

  • Comment number 29.

    The censorship on this blog is ridiculous.

  • Comment number 30.

    I find it crazy that Channel 4 were awarded the rights. BBC has already got all the setup ready to handle such an event. Who watches channel 4 anyway?. Olympics and paraolympics should both have been awarded to the BBC.

    Also so many people will be put off the adverts every 10 mins. Its unfair to the athletes who will not get the same national coverage as the Olympics.

    Lets hope Im wrong

  • Comment number 31.

    #21 as far as the World Athletics is concerned many were disappointed that C4 won the rights to the 2011 and 2013 championships, smartin you will be pleased to know that the BBC has already won the rights back for the 2015 & 2017 events

  • Comment number 32.

    @DavidG Your comments are seriously off there. I know for a fact, that many families of international Paralympians watched the BBC coverage of both Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 as the networks in their own countries didn't broadcast it at all. In fact, American networks didn't show the Paralympics until several months after they had taken place and even then only very minor highlights. And whilst the coverage of the '08 Para's wasn't as extensive as that of the Olympics, it was actually very good. Channel 4's pre-games coverage has so far been pretty poor. They have focused on the 'stars' (Which the BBC also have a tendency to do) but have failed to mention a single word on a lot of our athletes who have qualified who are multiple Paralympic champions and medalists, yet the BBC have covered their qualification here on the website. So you may wish to retract your comments.

  • Comment number 33.

    I can't figure out why people are complaining about this. s long as it is shown on terrestrial tv who cares who gets the rights? While channel 4 may not show as much coverage as the BEEB it doesn't eman that they aren't as professional. I'll lay odds half the complainers also complain about the cost of the license fee as if they are not connected!

  • Comment number 34.

    I think many are missing the point, that as the UK national broadcaster, The BBC now does much less coverage of our sports than in previous years, and those that it has 'lost' have gone to those companies who charge for access, like Sky.

    If Sky continued with FTA coverage, no problem, but they don't as they have to make a profit for their owners, so gradually the cost of following our favourite sports is increasing year on year.

    F1 is not a minority sport, it does attract very large audiences, but the mess that was made of the transition to Sky made a lot of people wonder what the BBC was up to. I see no reason why anyone should have to pay over and above the Licence Fee to watch sports involving our national teams.

    Sadly it continues, and the end game will be that what was once a truly great broadcaster will be reduced to buying in programming from other companies.

    I don't know what the move to Salford cost the BBC, but I bet it would have covered a lot of sports and programming.

  • Comment number 35.

    @15 I care about the Paralympics. Taking two of my kids to an athletics finals night where they will witness athletes performing to the best of their ability, whatever their disability. With 80,000 people in the stadium it will be a night I will never forget. I also suffer from a slight disability myself so can only imagine the effort made by the Paralympic athletes and wish I could perform to their standards.

  • Comment number 36.

    Just checking. Yeah my tv gets channel 4. Hold on how much is that costing me? What Free to air! Really!

  • Comment number 37.

    15. At 18:33 22nd Aug 2012, mike wrote:

    " many people hand on heart really care about the paraolympics?" cared enough to sign in and post a comment.

    And by the way, as you should have seen from the headline, it's spelled, Paralympics

  • Comment number 38.

    For me the paralympics stinks of positive discrimination and I actively hate all forms of discrimination. I want to watch sporting events because of the sport and not because the participants have some sort of disability. Sorry, but I won't be watching because this will all be about the disabled in sport and not sports for the disabled.

  • Comment number 39.

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

  • Comment number 40.

    To say that the Paralympics deserve the same amount of attention is crazy. You can like it, or not, but the Paralymics simply does not attract people as much as the Olympic Games.

    It will be broadcasted live anyway, they can´t ask much more. Expecting a full-scale coverage is not realistic.

  • Comment number 41.

    listen, im not saying either way, im trying to gauge peoples feelings for this thats all, personally as long as its on mainstream tv i dont think it matters what channel its on

  • Comment number 42.

    Why did the BBC lose the bid to show the 2012 Paralympics in the first place. Was the bid not high enough. The BBC has shown every Paralympics so far in it's history since it started in 1980 until now so I fully expected it to win the 2012 Paralympics bid and show it live.

    I don't think many people will be watching the Channel 4's Paralympics coverage. With Channel 4 being an advert driven programme like the other non BBC channels. It will have an ad break after every 10mins of the Paralympics coverage for 5 mins. That means that for every hour of coverage only 40mins will be the actual Paralympics coverage and the other 20mins will be showing the adverts and the sponsors. Channel 4 say they will be showing 150 hours when it will actually around 100 hours if you minus the hours spent showing the adverts and sponsors.

  • Comment number 43.

    The only people to blame for the BBC being forced to downscale it's sporting operations are none other than Dodgy Dave Cameron and his cronies in the Tory Party, shamelessly supported by the equally dodgy Lib Dems.

    You have to ask why the Licence Fee was frozen for 6 years, which is a big cut in real terms, yet the Con Dems have not frozen rail fairs or energy bills?

    Why is that I wonder? Not difficult really to work out why news international Murdoch, Wade

    Yep the people to blame are the ones running or should I say ruining this country and all our great institutions, forcing the GBP to subscribe to a spineless organisation in order to see events that previously have been on the BBC

    Congrats to all that voted them in, I hope you are proud!

  • Comment number 44.

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  • Comment number 45.

    People will undoubtedly be upset with this comment, but I have to agree with post 15.

    I think the paralympics are great, and I think that they deserve the extensive funding that they receive. At the same time I can't help but feel that unfortunately by its very nature it is a much less entertaining event.

    It's most definitely inspirational the way that all these athletes have overcome any problems they have to compete, but due to the enormous amount of 'categories' of disability it just makes it confusing and detracts from the event. Sometimes it seems like athletes are just competing against themselves for a gold medal (If you see what I mean) and there doesn't seem to be any real competition when (for example) you have someone with severe Cerebral Palsy swimming against someone who has a missing arm. Just my thoughts.

    At the end of the day, in the normal olympics events like cycling and rowing are still very much minority sports (I still enjoy our success obviously) and in the scheme of things aren't massively competitive on a global scale. If you then limit it to those who are disabled and have the courage and fortitude to commit to a sport you are just narrowing the competition down massively. Add to that the categories of disability which are clearly necessary and each event really becomes quite uncompetitive.

    tl;dr I think the paralympics are great, but not as a competitive spectacle

  • Comment number 46.

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

  • Comment number 47.

    39. At 20:51 22nd Aug 2012, nug1 wrote:
    . "To my mind, the Olympics is about finding the best that human beings can achieve. I.E. The fastest man in the world, the highest jumper, the longest jumper etc... If you have a disability you are never going to be any of these things. We all would like to be the best but by its very nature only a handful can.

    Why stop at disabilities? Why don't we have olympic events for the obese, the awkward or all ginger mingers."

    So presumably, you'd also like to ban all weight categories or events for women?

  • Comment number 48.

    @15.... How many people care about the Paralympics?

    Well looking at the last count 2.5 million people who've bought tickets making it the most popular Paralympics ever.
    Plus more people waiting at the sides to buy tickets. So it looks like you're the only person who doesn't.

  • Comment number 49.

    The beeb should stop making eastenders and other crap.

  • Comment number 50.


    Are you for real? Why shouldn't it be a major competition like the Olympics? They train just like any 'normal' athlete they're normal human beings too. I think it's great that there are equal opportunities for all in such a great sporting arena.

  • Comment number 51.

    The BBC coverage of the Olympics was very mixed. I remember the womens 1500m heat when the commentators were wittering on about some Brit trailing in 7th or 8th and didn't even mention the winner so maybe it's a good thing C4 have the rights and we dont have to suffer the same blinkered coverage.

  • Comment number 52.

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

  • Comment number 53.

    If you truly like sport, you'll enjoy the Paralympics. Why? Because it's sport dummy! I found myself caring about the outcome of basketball game in the Olympics. I can't stand the sport but what I do love is the sight of athletes putting everything on the line. Win or lose, you know they have given their all. The number of limbs has bugger all to do with it.
    Wasn't long ago (July 27th?) when a lot of people didn't care about the Olympics, within days millions were gripped. It will be the same with the Paras.

    Can't wait.

  • Comment number 54.

    To expect Paralympics to get the same coverage as the Olympics is stretching it. It's a wonderful event and I wish it every success.

    I'm happy to see it well covered on TV but to expect same coverage and equal status is not something I think is necessary or justified. Although if it gets it fine by me but BBC should not be expected to automatically do this.

    Great to hear it will be well supported in the stadiums and one hopes Channel 4 get a ratings winner. Then maybe next time there will be more competition for rights.

  • Comment number 55.

    johns comment was not called for if you dont like it dont watch it millions of us do want to see the paraolympics so keep your negetive coments to your self

  • Comment number 56.

    come on team gb lets show the rest of the world how to do it

  • Comment number 57.

    What's the difference?
    It's hardly positive discrimination, is it? Positive discrimination would involve disabled athletes being introduced to able bodied sports. They're not, are they? Pistorious made the 400m for SA by dint of breaking the qualifying time. Not BECAUSE he is disabled but DESPITE being so.

    I suggest you go lie down in a dark room and if you don't like watching sport, don't.

    If you do like sport, put down the Daily Mail, watch the Paralympics and maybe you might be inspired. Not by the back story but by athletes doing their utmost to win. You know, like athletes do.

  • Comment number 58.

    Nothing to see here...usual amount of complaining, whinging and moaning. Seriously its terrible its on Channel 4 I mean how will you change the channel? Has everyone forgotten that Channel 4 is free to air as well? On the F1 front Skysports coverage is awesome if you want to watch it then buy a sky subscription online is only about a tenner a month or get the sports tv package for 15 quid a month if not then dont complain. For the license fee you pay which really means you can watch 1 to 5 etc you get a lot of sport and entertainment. The BBC Olympics coverage was superb and I love MOTD! Now back to my first world problem of getting my new 40inch LED...

  • Comment number 59.

    The BBC coverage of the Olympics was top notch, absolutely first class (and I tweeted as much after the closing ceremony finished). Yes, it would have been great to repeat that success with the Paralympics but I think Channel 4 is a worthy and credible alternative and I wish them well. I'd be interested to know whether there are any plans afoot to produce a BBC DVD of key highlights from its coverage of London 2012 Olympics, although my primary interest is the opening ceremony in this respect. It would make for such a splendid souvenir of the Games.

  • Comment number 60.

    I love the comment from mrs svennis at #51. Doesn't like a comment made at one heat of one event and accordingly is glad the paralympics are on 4. Ridiculous.

    The BBC were outbid for the rights for these games and LOCOG decided to take the risk that that 4's coverage would be good enough. In fact their coverage of last year's World Athletics was very poor. That makes me confident they'll get it right this time because they can't afford to mess this up. The problem with 4 is that they have no talent base-they have to buy everything in. That's why it was possible for their cricket coverage to be very good while their athletics has been laughable. Still I'm prepared to give 4 a chance.

    Also I'm a big fan of F1-and there are some here who still can't grasp the monumental cost of sports rights compared to production costs. The licence fee was frozen-something had to give. It's long since time to move on.

  • Comment number 61.

    So any criticism of the disabled having their own Olympics gets pulled. It is like everything in this pc society, if anyone has the audacity to question those groups who receive positive discrimination then they are silenced.

    In the 'real' olympics we are now subject to the sanitising and relaxing of rules of sports to enable minority groups to compete in professional sport. Tackling is virtually outlawed in football to pave the way for women to compete with men eventually.

    Moreover, I couldn't believe watching womens boxing in the olympics and having to listen to all the hyperbole. The majority of the 'punches' were slaps from the side of the glove. In mens boxing such punches are punished and do not score. This was totally ignored. Even seasoned commentators were conditioned to toe the line.

    By all means have all sports for all but subject all to the same rules. Making allowances and sanitising certain sports make it less entertaining to watch and hence, it will never appeal to the masses and continue to be minority viewing.

    At least I have the option of the off button. However, I am forced to pay through the licence fee to fund such viewing and am glad there is not blanket coverage of the paralympics. Channel 4 can keep it!!!

  • Comment number 62.

    "We wish Channel 4 well"

    Forgive me, Dave, but that's not the impression I've got from this rather arrogant article; in fact, it sounds like you're belatedly putting a case for the BBC to have been awarded the rights even though that stable door got bolted a long time ago.

    "...pleased that some of the faces and voices that the public enjoyed through the Olympics on the BBC... will be seen and heard in their coverage. Some of their production staff have also worked for and been trained by the BBC."

    So that presumably implies that all the presenters and staff they've taken on themselves will be useless and do a poor job then?

    I for one am very impressed with the way Channel 4 have incorporated new shows and new people to give a fresh approach to the way the Paralympics are covered on British TV - which, in my opinion, had become stale under the BBC.

  • Comment number 63.

    "Despite this, the BBC still has a major stake in the success of the Paralympics"

    Either you mean "focus" instead than "stake" or you've got a pretty high-minded view of the BBC's position in all this if you think that the public's view of these Games will be mainly influenced by how the corporation covers the Paralympics.

    You may be offering many ways for people to follow the Games, but the fact of the matter is that they all come a fairly distant second to the most important way - watching the events live, which you cannot offer.

    Don't get me wrong, it's good that you are providing these alternative methods of coverage, but you've got to face the facts and realise that the BBC is not the main Paralympics broadcaster and move on, rather than trying to fool everyone that it is and making subtle digs at the broadcaster who has got the rights.

    If you wanted the Games, you should have done more to keep them.

  • Comment number 64.

    @61 Oh, you're a football fan. Why didn't you say? There's a special place for you. And I'm not sure it's this blog.
    I watch football. Sometimes I enjoy it (Spurs, so, you know, it's been a while)

    What I cannot stand is people who suggest that just by being 'minority' it's irrelevant.
    Small minded thinking.
    And we're back to my first point. Don't like it? Don't watch it.
    I'm assuming that as the £11.50 a month for the licence fee is too much you don't have Sky Sports? Or ESPN?

    Or if do and you just watch football, well you're in luck, because they have blind football in the Paras. BLIND! It'll be like watching the England team at the 2010 WC all over again.

    But with skills and chance we might win. And, you know, playing for the passion of the game and not 50k a week and all the hookers you can eat.

  • Comment number 65.

    @61 (again)

    Still not sure how it is positive discrimination. It's the parallel games for people with disabilities. Not an able bodied games where disabled athletes are 'shoe-horned' in.
    So how is it positive discrimination?

  • Comment number 66.

    Perhaps before commenting on how the BBC isn't covering the Paralympics people consider how successive Governments have handcuffed the BBC with needless expense and no increase for three years. The white elephant that is the BBC in Salford Quays went ahead just as the recession was on us. The move has cost 100s of millions for no gain and relocated BBC Sport to Salford only for all the staff to need to move back to London for the Olympics. It's needless expense like this that has meant the BBC has been unable to hold on to major sporting events like F1 and horse racing. Commercial TV adds £250 to your bills each year and Sky adds another £360, suddenly £135 for the BBC seems a bargain.

  • Comment number 67.

    It is a bit dissapointing the BBC lost the rights to the Paralympics to Channel 4 as it would have given continuity with the Olympics and it would be advert free. That they lost is I suspect more a reflection of how keen Channel 4 were to win them and how Channel 4 see the Paralympics fitting into it's brand rather than the BBC underbidding. Channel 4 do come at it fresh though rather than as an after thought which has to be good. Saying that being on Channel 4 will mean that for those who don't seek it out it will more or less pass them by - which is a sad as the sense of national unity is part what made the Olympics such a sucess. So swings and roundabouts!

  • Comment number 68.

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

  • Comment number 69.

    I do think some people are missing the point. The BBC is funded by the licence fee (as are ITV, C4 and C5 by the way) but has a limited budget to run all the BBC radio stations, news networks, websites, on-demand content etc etc etc and produces dramas, soaps, quiz shows, talent contests for that.

    Lets be realistic here. The Paralympics is not as "popular" with the viewing public and even if the BBC had it and provided the same coverage the viewing figures would not be approaching the Olympics. Sad but true. Good luck to Channel 4, the admittedly awful coverage afforded to the World Championships will be improved and all the whining will dissapear into the ether.

    With regards to the other sports certain competitions/events are reserved as being available via a non-subscription service. Those outside of that tend to be swallowed by Sky as it is the only real buyer with any money.

    Being a licence fee payer does not mean that we should be able to see everything we want on the BBC. What is does mean is that all of us gets something they like... and obviously they get to whine about the stuff they don't like as well.

    Have a slightly wider view than just what you want and think about everything we get for such a small sum.

  • Comment number 70.

    I agree with f1fansp, this is eerily familiar to several other events down the years which the BBC lost and others gained due to differing perspectives on priorities. The F1 is certainly a recent good example, the BBC's de-evaluation for some bizarre reason (other than money) of the sport's popularity has led to it being handed over to a channel that is now charging premium. This is a replica of 1992, when the BBC lost out to that same media corporation its rights to show live premier league matches. I don't blame the BBC completely though, at some point funding and revenue to the BBC might not be matching its ambitions to regain its place as the rightful leader of British broadcasting.

  • Comment number 71.


    I think the BBC will always be in an impossible situation. There's the guys on here slamming it for not spending more money on F1, on the grand national or the Paralympics (the actual case in point). Then there are the other users who write, phone and complain that their license fee is wasted on sport, why can't they have more dramas etc.

    It's a great shame that the Paralympics won't be covered the same way as the Olympics. It's also a great opportunity for Channel 4 and the Paralympics to have a different tone and maybe show us something that was missing from the BBC coverage, although I thought it was great.

    The other advantage is having it on a different channel has meant that Channel 4 has put all it's rescources behind it. It's developed a ground swell with its Paralympic show, it's created innovative advertising and marketing and interesting documentaries to really explore the games.

    I for one am lookin froward to it all. I also wish the BBC had more sports because I love he BBC and its coverage. However it like many business has to balance its books and unlike many business has many master (us) to account to. Can't be all sport, nor can it all be dramas. Wish it was never rubbish fame hungry talent shows but guess someone watches them.

    The BBC is the envy of the rest of the world, like the NHS, we have a quality broadcast service paid for by everone for a modest fee. Many countries don't have that or have really rubbish versions that turn out programmes to even worthy of channel 5

  • Comment number 72.

    You guys are so spoilt! Try putting up with crummy Australian coverage (and I gather US coverage). The Paralympics has gone to national Broadcaster ABC so here's hoping the standard will rise. How about BBC going into partnership in the bidding with cash-strapped ABC for some of these major international events? You could make a bit of cash and they could save a bit.

  • Comment number 73.

    It will be interesting to see if Channel4 cover the Paralympics in Rio in 2016, this is really a case of Locog showing little support for a company that's followed and supported Paralympic sport for years, more taking the highest bid and running C4 get to jump on the bandwagon for the home Olympics because they can bid more and you can bet all the doom mongers, who know nothing about the sport will be whinging in 2016 when C4 don't cover it and saying what a disgrace it is that the Beeb aren't stepping, when in any other line of business they should rightly be fuming that they get snubbed for the golden pay check. The cap will be back out in four years time and undoubtedly the BBC will be the only one's prepared to line it.

  • Comment number 74.

    You should try French TV. The opening ceremony on France O and 1 hour per day at 0130! Shameful

  • Comment number 75.

    The Olympics was the priority, and the coverage was fantastic. BBC missed out on the Paralmpics, but surely the 'prioritisation' is based on how many people want to watch it? And isn't that understandable?

    The ratings for the Paralympics will be nowhere near the Olympic viewing figures, so any channel will therefore make less effort to secure those rights... Channel 4 (and their advertisers) would definitely have swapped, that's for sure.

    Why can't we appreciate that THEY ARE GETTING TV COVERAGE FOR THE PARALYMPICS full stop, rather than stressing about which channel it is on? Next we'll all be complaining that there is no ParaWimbeldon or ParaWorldCup attached to those events.

  • Comment number 76.

    Channel 4 didn't do an awful job with the Athletics World Championships. They put an awful presenter out front for a couple of days, realised he was awful, and then swapped him out. From then on the coverage was fine. They've assembled a pretty damn good presentation team for the Paralympics, and most of the actual tv pictures are from a central pool, as they were for the Olympics. So beyond the adverts and actual faces in between events, it won't be a million miles away from the Olympics. And let's face it not having to put up with Mishal Hussain or Gary Lineker is no real hardship!!

  • Comment number 77.

    The fact that Claire Balding is going to be commentating on Channel 4 Paralympics is enough to keep me from watching! How does this woman get everywhere on TV???

  • Comment number 78.

    I'm glad my licene fee isn't being wasted on the Paralympics. It isn't elite sport despite the amazing effort made by the participants. Im of a similar view to other sports - why show a 1st round FA cup tie of Barnet vs Halifax?? Or an utterly minority sport like bowls??

    The beeb should be spending our money on top level sport only - leave the minority/lesser sporting events to the poorer broadcasters

  • Comment number 79.

    Let's get our teeth into this one MONEY let's talk about the Price Tag BBC hasn't got a bottomless pit of money so they have to priortise you can please some people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time. For me personally the BeeB have been outstanding when covering sport and I'm talking about all sport.Without advertising they have less money so they need to spend what money they do have wisely I think you would agree their coverage of the Olympic Games was Gold Medal standard and didn't come cheap.I have to say Sky have cornered the cricket and only show adverts when their is no action their F1 is a little trickier to time.We also need to be aware of new audiences who have only watched ie cricket and F1 on Satellite and haven't been priviledged to a Murray Walker or a Richie Benaud overall the Beeb do a good job but if we lost MOTD again questions will once again be asked.

  • Comment number 80.

    The Paralympics gets far more coverage than it deserves-sorry that in this "pc" age that position may upset some but that is my opinion and i certainly WONT be catching channel 4 between August 29-September 9. i await the viewing figures with interest

  • Comment number 81.

    I completely disagree with contactisgood (78). The BBC should be covering more 'minority' sports. It's mad that British sportspeople who are the best in the world become fleeting celebrities at the Olympics and then forgotten about for 4 years. It's awful that only football gets any real coverage in the media for most of the year, and kids (and others) only get exposed to other sports every four years.

  • Comment number 82.

    The same people complaining that the BBC didn't try too hard to get the Paralympics are probably the same people who would moan if they paid over the odds. When the BBC had full rights to F1 people (mainly guided by the Murdoch media and the Daily mail) complained they had paid too much for it. Now they have only a few races and highlights, the same people are moaning about that too (funny that the Murdoch media have changed their tune about F1 since Sky bought the rights. I wonder why.......)

    The BBC are always in "lose lose" situation with sport. They got out-bidded for the World Athletics championships, paralympics and the Grand National and got slated. But they would taken stick if they had increased their bids too.

    I would love to see the BBC have more live sport. But with the big money Sky, ITV (incidentally is owned 7.5% by Murdoch) and Channel 4, they can't compete. Especially with media pressure (see James Murdoch's sport on BBC's so called "monopoly".) on the government to stop the BBC spending huge sums on sport they'll struggle to do so.

  • Comment number 83.

    Bit off topic but F1 should never have gone to Sky. Viewing figures have fallen from a average of 4.5-5 million to around 3.5 million (per race).
    This deal was sold as better for the fans, I just wish someone would stand up and admit it was just pure greed.

    As for the paralympics, as long as its free to air I shall watch a bit of it, that said its a bit harder to relate to unless your in a similar situation yourself.

  • Comment number 84.

    I am not a lover or apologist for the BBc but there seems to be a pattern here. When no other channel cared about the Paralympics, the BBC did some great coverage and they seemed to think that because they had served the sport well in the past when it was "struggling", that the sport owed them something! The same happened with cricket, motor racing etc when they were in teh doldrums it was the BBC that gave them coverage and kept them in the public but when the sport becomes popular and the sports authorities become greedy then the loyalty that the BBC showed is quickly forgotten. Look at cricket..went to Channel 4 and now Sky with highlights on 5. Does anyone care about cricket anymore unless its the Ashes? Motor racing went to ITV who screwed it up and they quickly reverted to BBC and now its on Sky. Its only the partial coverage by the BBC that keeps it in the public eye unless we get a GB World Champion. Is the BBC right to think about loyalty? I think so.

  • Comment number 85.

    To be honest, your Olympic coverage was embarrassingly nationalistic. So it's not a problem for me that a different channel is getting the opportunity to cover the Paralympics.

    Maybe they'll cover the events properly, rather than just showing a British gymnast, then immediately switching to a British show jumper and then a British trampolinist.

  • Comment number 86.

    bright lamp shade @83

    As for the paralympics, as long as its free to air I shall watch a bit of it, that said its a bit harder to relate to unless your in a similar situation yourself.

    I fully understand that comment, in fact it is refreshing to see it and i do know what it is like.

    I do not worry, that the BBC are not covering the games, as long as they are covered and accessable for all. The BBC are playing their part and they are supporting the games albeit in a different manner to C4.

    The one constant, whenever these blogs appear, F1 enters the topic and is used to promote a point of view. It is rather pointless.

    I suppose there is a case for asking why the BBC broadcasts some F1 but will not be broadcasting the 'paras'

    I am looking forward to the 'paras' I view them as I do the Olympics. I was lucky enough to go to the games and I feel lucky to have a a couple of tickets for the 'paras' The rest of the time i will be watching C4.

    Well done to the BBC and of course C4 for keeping all sport in the spotlight.

  • Comment number 87.

    I wholeheartedly agree with post 20 - DavidG. Pure and simply the BBC were outbid because they didn't value the contribution that the Paralympics would make to their portfolio. Disgraceful.
    What a terrible shame that after the amazingly feel good experience that was the Olympics that the BBC now resorts to the same old, same old wall to wall football coverage. I have seen nothing in the sports headlines on the sports section of the website that is anything other than football. Radio Fivelive has been football every evening since virtually the closing ceremony finished. LEGACY - the BBC has its part to play in continually promoting other sports, not just once every four years.

  • Comment number 88.

    I have no problem with money going to disabled sport as it is good for everybody to be healthy, but to some extent the Paralympics is about aesthetically pleasing disabled people - if you are very severely disabled then as a rule they don't have an event for you. I know disabled people who are scathing about the Paralympics.

    I don't see the Paralympics as elite sport, trying very hard at something you are not able to do very well doesn't change the fact that you are not very good at it.

    So if the BBC doesn't bid too much money I think that is a good thing. I know it is not PC to say this and some people will be offended but frankly I don't mind.

  • Comment number 89.

    I'm very opened minded to Channel Four's coverage, especially after the BBC's last outing with the Paralympics. Remember the 2010 Winter Paralympics? Probably not, as it was limited to a hour highlights show, I had to get most of my coverage on the IPC webcasting.

  • Comment number 90.

    It's concerning how many narrow-minded people there are on here. My points are:

    1. The BBC coverage of the Olympics was fantastic. Couldn't have been much better.
    2. It's disappointing that BBC don't have TV coverage but C4 is still a free channel. On the contrary to some posts, the build up to the Games over the past 12 months has been very good. That Paralympic Show was educational, explaining each of the sports. The adverts for it have been modern and witty.
    3. If people don't want to watch the Paralympics then that's fine but don't use the excuse that disabled sport isn't as good! Most sports are hugely exciting and most are very similar to the Olympics. Don't make them out to be second class athletes. Most of them would still beat a regular able-bodied athlete!!

    The amount of lethargy before the Olympics was typical of the (some) British attitude to everything. Complain and whinge first then when it's on everyone is a fan. Here is a thought. Let's look forward to the extensive coverage of elite athletes in sports you don't normally see and enjoy another festival of sport! Oh and there's still tickets (cheap) left so go check out the Olympic Park.

    By the way remember the Paralympics is a shorter event than the Olympics so don't look purely at hours of coverage! Let's get behind our athletes and the event as a whole!

  • Comment number 91.

    Doubting Thomas - just read your post.

    Trying very hard at something you can't do very well? Quite possibly the most naive and narrow minded comment I've seen. I'm guessing you are a proper athlete? I challenge you to race against one of the guys in the athletics or swim against some of the guys, or cycle. I challenge you to get into a wheelchair and play rugby or basketball against them! Even better, get on the judo mat against Visually Impaired players? No? Thought not!

  • Comment number 92.

    As an aside to all the annoying moaners on here, the BBC Iplayer catch all the action of the Olympics. How long will that remain available for? Most stuff normally goes away after a month. It must be a large amount of data, can we keep going back to it indefinitely?

  • Comment number 93.

    "Trying very hard at something you can't do very well? Quite possibly the most naive and narrow minded comment I've seen."

    I predicted I would get idiotic comments like this - the key point is "very well" - if you have a massive in-built disadvantage you might do something quite well, but you are never going to be truly brilliant at it no matter how hard you work at it - why spend all your time perfecting your ability in something where you have a fundamental disadvantage ?

    Whether or not a disabled person can beat me or another member of the general public by spending all their time training for a specific event at which they are disabled is irrelevant - it is whether they can compete against elite athletes in the field - and they can't.

    Why don't we have an event like the 110m hurdles for men who are under 5ft 4" ? They will never compete against the elite but they will try really really really hard and be better than the vast majority of tall members of the general public - so what ?

  • Comment number 94.

    93: Are you really comparing being slightly short to a disability? What a complete...

  • Comment number 95.

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

  • Comment number 96.

    95: Sorry I understand now you don't want a separate Olympics for disabled people they should be able to compete against the best in spite of their disability. Presumably you also argue the same against female separated sports after all they should be competing against men despite their gender.

  • Comment number 97.

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

  • Comment number 98.

    I am NOT comparing the disabled to being short, whatever else I write is being removed regardless of how politely I write it - so we will have to agree to disagree - hopefully the moderator will allow me to make that statement.

  • Comment number 99.

    I agree with Gooner

  • Comment number 100.

    It will be interesting to compare the Olympic BBC approach to the Channel 4 Paralympic approach. The BBC aimed for quantity over quality, with poorly researched material presented by many poor presenters, but a huge amount of it and a lot of variety. Channel 4 have far less coverage, but may end up with more quality by focussing resources more effectively. Will be interesting to see which works better.


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