More Paralympics coverage needed in the US says IPC chief following NBC snub
Sunday, 16 September 2012
September 16 - International Paralympic Committee (IPC) chief executive Xavier Gonzalez admitted that the organisation would like to have seen more coverage of the Paralympic Games in the United States after American broadcasting giant NBC declined to show a single minute of live coverage on its network from London 2012.
Despite record viewing figures from the London 2012 Olympics, NBC decided to screen just four 60-minute highlight packages on one of its most obscure cable TV channels.
Today, a week after the Games will have ended, it will screen a 90-minute Paralympics highlight package on its main channel.
Anyone in America who really wanted to follow the Games were forced to watch a daily highlights package produced by NBC via the US Paralympics YouTube channel.
"We are on a journey to Rio 2016 and if we compare where the US market was two Games ago to now, we have done very well," said Gonzalez.
"But ideally we would like more coverage.
"Now we have the example that Channel 4 has created here in Britain, and what the Brazilians, and other countries in the world are doing.
"So we are in a much better position to go back to the United States and increase the coverage there."
Gonzalez added that despite the lack of coverage in America, he had been very impressed with the international coverage of the London 2012 Paralympics on a general basis.
"We have had outstanding media coverage online, on radio and TV, both nationally and internationally.
"As a good example, the victory the other day of Alan Oliveira [against Oscar Pistorius in the men's 200 metres T44 final on September 2] knocked out all of the football news in Brazil and you can probably understand that's quite a big deal.
"We have also seen the media changing their focus to the athleticism of the athletes and the competition and we have seen a lot more athletes being portrayed and becoming more popular.
"It's now critical for us that that momentum continues and we have coverage of all the World Championships and regional championships over the next four years."
August 2012: USOC announces record London 2012 Paralympic coverage after criticism of lack of live action