September 18, 2004

Athens isn't done yet.: Same link, same city, same venues, different athletes, different games. The 12th Paralympic Games quietly opened today.

posted by Punkrockrat to other at 03:25 PM - 8 comments

Only 'quietly' if you're in the US, where there's no network coverage. Stuart Hughes is covering the Paralympics as a producer for the BBC, and expresses his disgust with NBC's decision to ignore the events.

There will be NO AMERICAN TV COVERAGE OF THE PARALYMPICS. Not one hour of live coverage. Not one commentator. Not one Olympian on the commentary team. Nothing. This at the same time that a record number of journalists are preparing to cover the Paralympics. This is nothing short of a national disgrace. 1 in 5 Americans have some form of disability -- that's some 52.6 million people (Source: US Census) Their sporting achievements at the very highest level are being utterly ignored.
For some reason, the 'triumph over personal struggles' model of NBC Olympic coverage seems not to lend itself to precisely those competitors for whom it's truest.

posted by etagloh at 03:44 PM on September 19, 2004

I'm sure it's marvelous for the competitors and their families, but I doubt many others have much of an interest in it. It's on a par with womens rugby. The BBC is showing an hour and a half a day; I wonder if it would be showing that much if it relied on advertising revenue for it's survival?

posted by Fat Buddha at 04:52 PM on September 19, 2004

Sports fans, at least US sports fans, eat what they're fed. It's like four year olds: pizza or chicken nuggets, and that's about the breadth of their world view. Put lobster bisque in front of 'em, or even mention the thought, and the reaction is, "Ewww! Yuck! Who wants to eat that?"

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:24 PM on September 19, 2004

One of the reasons I made the post was because I wondered if anyone knew about it at all (at least from a US- Centric view). Looking at the site, I thought some of the events looked a bit interesting. I'll probably take some time to look through the site a bit more.

posted by Punkrockrat at 07:47 PM on September 19, 2004

CBC had some afternoon coverage today. It's seems to be a US-only decision to completely ignore it.

posted by grum@work at 08:18 PM on September 19, 2004

Fat Buddha kinda nailed it. Every network cited here as carrying it is a state run entity with the luxury of showng pretty much what they feel like. Not saying NBC shouldn't carry something, but comparing public programming to commercial is a bit apples and orangey. NBC could have done something but it would have been clobbered by NCAA Football, NFL, MLB and regular prime time viewing at a great loss. Again not saying it's right or wrong, just a reality.

posted by pivo at 09:28 PM on September 19, 2004

NBC could have done something but it would have been clobbered by NCAA Football, NFL, MLB and regular prime time viewing at a great loss. Show it on CNBC overnight? Surely those informercials aren't raking in the millions, and NBC doesn't even have to spend that much money on coverage: just take the international feed and have a couple of people on the spot. But no.

posted by etagloh at 07:33 PM on September 20, 2004

ok, i saw headline for... wheelchair rugby results!?! the mind boggles. i am interested in seeing that that would be like.

posted by gspm at 10:01 PM on September 20, 2004

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