BBC wins radio rights to 2012 Paralympics


The BBC has won the UK radio rights to broadcast coverage of the London 2012 Paralympics on its Radio 5 Live news and sports station.

The BBC said it would broadcast an estimated 25 hours of programmes and news on Radio 5 Live during the games, as well as extensive live commentary on its sister station Radio 5 Live Sports Extra.

The stations were awarded the rights this week by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).

A Radio 5 Live spokesman said the “key moments” of the games would be covered on 5 Live, with “blow by blow commentary” on Sports Extra.

Although he said it was too early to say how many hours there would be on Sports Extra, the total number of hours across both stations will be far higher than the 10 hours or so of coverage from the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.

In a surprise decision by LOCOG in January 2010, the BBC lost out on the UK TV rights to Channel 4, which pledged to provide more than 150 hours of “blanket” coverage during the 12 days of the games.

Jane Jones, director of communications for ParalympicsGB, which manages Britain’s Paralympians, said it was “delighted” that 5 Live had been awarded the rights.

She said: “We know they’ll do a fantastic job of covering the games and the British team’s exploits.

“We’re looking forward to working closely with them in the run up to the most important games in our history.”

Adrian Van Klaveren, controller of 5 Live, said: “There’s unprecedented interest in the Paralympics taking place on home soil and we’re delighted to be providing the radio coverage.

“We’re committed to bringing our listeners all of the sporting stories, capturing the human drama and raising awareness of Paralympic sport.”

Lord Coe, LOCOG’s chair, said 5 Live was a “brilliant sports broadcaster” and would be “a perfect radio partner”, while the BBC had been “a great champion of the Paralympic movement”.

10 February 2011


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