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Extra scrutiny for Paralympic TV deals

By BBC | September 10th 2012

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is to scrutinise potential broadcasting partners more carefully in future after US rights holders NBC failed to show any live 2012 action.

NBC scheduled four hour-long highlights programmes on the NBC Sports channel, followed by one 90-minute round-up.

IPC president Sir Philip Craven said of future media partners: "We'll examine their values as they will examine ours.

"If the values fit, we've got a chance. If they don't we'll go somewhere else."

The London 2012 Paralympic Games ended on Sunday with a spectacular closing ceremony featuring performances from Coldplay, Rihanna and Jay-Z.

Channel 4 aired 400 hours of Paralympic coverage in the UK, while Australia's ABC screened more than 100 hours.

In Japan viewers had a nightly one-hour highlights programme. Its capital Tokyo is bidding to host the 2020 Games.

NBC did not show any live action and its 90-minute round-up programme will not be broadcast until 16 September.

Yet the broadcaster said the total of five-and-a-half hours represented an improvement on the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing, when viewers got a single 90-minute highlights package.

"The people of the USA, for example, particularly the parents and families of the athletes, they are all ready for Paralympic sport," Sir Philip added.

"Take the plunge, take the risk and then you'll succeed."

NBC said its coverage of the London 2012 Olympic Games was the "most-watched television event in US history", with 219 million people watching over the duration of the event.

But it drew criticism for delaying the broadcast of popular events until prime time hours.

Viewers also complained of problems with online streaming and edited versions of the opening and closing ceremonies.



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