Channel 4 today outlined its plans for the most extensive coverage of the Paralympic Games that has ever been broadcast in the UK.
More than 500 hours of all-day everyday coverage will be broadcast during the twelve days of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Multiple channels and platforms will broadcast live sport on Channel 4, More4 and online at Channel4.com.
In addition, Channel 4 will broadcast three further streams of uninterrupted live coverage of a range of sports at the Paralympic Games. These will be available as three dedicated channels on the Sky platform, in both standard and high definition, as well as online at Channel4.com - with the streams also expected to launch on Virgin Media.
Channel 4 has also announced the launch of dedicated Paralympics apps for both mobile and tablet devices - compatible with iOS and Android. The apps, which will be free to download, will enable users to review the latest Paralympic action with comprehensive catch up clips of events. The tablet app will also allow users to watch live streamed action. The apps and the Channel4.com/Paralympics website will also feature continuously updated live text commentary, news, results and medal tables.
The coverage will be hosted by a ground-breaking team. Half of the presenters and reporters in the Channel 4 line-up will be disabled - including eight new faces drawn from a nationwide talent search.
Channel 4 today confirmed the on-air pairings who will front the all-day everyday coverage.
The presenting team will be joined by reporters discovered during Channel 4's search for disabled talent in 2010; including former Paralympic swimmer Rachael Latham, sports reporter and wheelchair basketball player Jordan Jarret-Bryan, former carpenter Martin Dougan, researcher Liam Holt, sports journalist Alex Brooker, equestrian expert and sports broadcaster Diana Man. The reporting team will also include renowned broadcasters such as Sonja McLaughlan, Ned Boulting and Adam Darke.
Jon Snow will front coverage of the opening and closing ceremonies, and Adam Hills will present a nightly highlights show with a difference
A hugely experienced commentary and analysis line-up will include John Rawling and Rob Walker as well as former Paralympic sprinter Danny Crates, former Paralympic wheelchair racer Jeff Adams and former British sprinter Katherine Merry on athletics; Bob Ballard and Paul Noble alongside former swimmers Giles Long and Karen Pickering at the aquatics centre; Phil Liggett and Jon Norfolk in cycling; Ronald McIntosh and Dan Johnson on basketball; Andrew Cotter and Justin Frishberg for wheelchair rugby; Don Parker on table tennis; Tony Jones for football; Simon Golding on volleyball, powerlifting and fencing; Neil Adams and Simon Jackson on judo; and Chris Dennis covering Tennis.
Channel 4's coverage in the lead up to the games includes the fourth series of the popular That Paralympic Show which, since launching in 2010 has had over 30 episodes aired on the channel. There is also the return of the feature documentary series, Best of British, following Paralympics GB hopefuls on their road to the Games; and a number of high profile short films commissioned jointly by Channel 4's broadcast partners, Sainsbury's and BT.
Notes to editors
Channel 4 talent search for disabled presenters
As part of Channel 4's pledge to bring disability sport to a mainstream audience and add authenticity, knowledge and experience to the coverage, the broadcaster launched a nationwide talent search in September 2010, to identify the best new disabled sports reporters and commentators to front the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The channel committed £500,000 to the search in order to reach its target of 50% disabled onscreen talent during the Games. Hopefuls from around the country were able to apply to the talent search by answering the question: "If you had three minutes of Channel 4 air time, what would you fill it with?" Entries were submitted as YouTube videos.
Channel 4 Broadcast Partners
BT is the official communications services partner for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. BT has a history of support of disability sport within the UK spanning over twenty years when it became the first commercial partner of the British Paralympic Association (BPA) in 1989. Channel 4, in partnership with BT, recently launched a series of short films featuring a number of BT's ambassador athletes which focused on their mental and physical approach to competing and training.
Sainsbury's is the official supermarket partner of the London 2012 Paralympic Games and the first ever Paralympic Games-only sponsor. The brand recently announced international footballer David Beckham as their official Paralympic ambassador to encourage children to take part in several of Sainsbury's initiatives, including the Million Kids Challenge and Active Kids 2012. Sainsbury's have also worked with Channel 4 to produce two series of short films with their ambassador athletes, including Ellie Simmonds.
Channel 4's Paralympic coverage will be produced by two of the UK's leading specialist sports production companies, Sunset & Vine and IMG Sports Media, drawing on their considerable experience of multi-discipline sporting events.