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Channel 4 starts Paralympic Games push

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Channel 4 logo at Channel 4 Headquarters

© Rex Features

Channel 4 has today launched its build up towards the London 2012 Paralympic Games, including new programming, sponsorship deals and a dedicated website.

Earlier in the year, Channel 4 was awarded exclusive UK broadcast rights to the Paralympic Games, with the broadcaster due to air more than 150 hours of TV coverage from the event in 2012.

On August 29, exactly two years before the Opening Ceremony, Channel 4 will screen a weekend of programming dedicated to the Paralympic Games.

Highlights of the weekend will include Inside Incredible Athletes, a feature-length documentary profiling seven of Great Britain's Paralympic stars.

The weekend will also see the premiere of new series That Paralympic Show, which is a 10-week magazine program dedicated to disability sport. Hosted by T4's Rick Edwards, the series will see guests such as Celebrity Big Brother winner Alex Reid having a go at Paralympic sports.

In May, Channel 4 commissioned digital agencies Zone and Public Zone to design, build and manage a Paralympic Games website.

The new site, which will officially launch on August 12 at Channel4.com/Paralympics, will bring the "inside story" on every event at the Games, along with profiling Team GB's competitors.

In the run up to 2012, the site will host live streams from Paralympic events around the world, starting with the 2010 IPC Swimming World Championships in Eindhoven on August 19, with coverage to be hosted by Paralympian Ade Adepitan MBE.

James Ballardie, editor & talent blogger for the Paralympic site, said: "It's high time disabled sport was thrust into the spotlight.

"I can't think of anyone better equipped than Channel 4, Zone and Public Zone to deliver this unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to all the blood, sweat and tears that go in to winning a Paralympic gold medal."

Channel 4 acting head of cross platform Matt Locke added: "Zone and Public Zone's joint pitch offered us the best of both worlds - Zone's sport and editorial experience and Public Zone's track record working with public sector organisations including Channel 4.

"We've made a big commitment to covering disabled sport, and digital is a key part of our plans."

Channel 4 has also agreed multi-million pound deals with BT and Sainsbury's for the companies to become joint sponsors for the London 2012 Paralympic coverage.

The agreements will see BT and Sainsbury's share sponsorship of Channel 4's live and highlights coverage, as well as the Paralympic website and all video on-demand content.

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