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Channel 4 to kick off Paralympics coverage

Channel 4 has unveiled details of its Paralympic Games TV and online coverage, sponsored jointly by BT and Sainsbury's, which will lead up to the event in two years' time.

Paralympic Games: Channel 4 unveils details of its coverage

Paralympic Games: Channel 4 unveils details of its coverage

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The broadcaster is treating the London 2012 Paralympics as a defining moment, pledging to train and hire disabled presenters and produce 150 hours of live coverage of the Games.

It will rebrand Channel 4 at the time of the Games and is promising the same level of on-air marketing that the BBC gave to the 2008 Olympic Games.

Programming scheduled for the last weekend in August this year includes 'Inside Incredible Athletes', a documentary profiling seven athletes, and 'That Paralympic Show', a 10-part magazine series tying in with the T4 youth strand.

Another 10-part documentary series, 'Hidden Heroes', will be broadcast in 2011.

The sponsors have each signed seven-figure deals running from this month to the end of the Games and including Channel 4's online programming and the joint creation of short-form programming content.

Online coverage includes Paralympic sports events such as the IPC Swimming World Championships, which starts on 19 August. The site at channel4.com/paralympics was built by Zone and sister agency Public Zone.

Sainsbury's is a Paralympic-only sponsor, while BT is the official communications services partner for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

Gwyn Burr, Sainsbury's customer service and colleague director, said the retailer was planning to use its sponsorship to "talk to customers about its commitment to promoting a healthy, fitter lifestyle".

It will sell Paralympic Games and ParalympicsGB merchandise and help promote the Games in its network of more than 850 stores.

BT wants to "share the inspirational power of Paralympic sport with the widest possible audience", according to Suzi Williams, group marketing and brand director.

Picture credit: Adrian Green

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