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Terri Mauro

Hey, NBC Found an Hour and a Half for the Paralympics!

By August 14, 2012

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TVI blogged about a month ago about NBC having 5,000+ hours on all its various channels and Web presences for Olympics coverage, but a big fat zero for Paralympics. Today I noticed a press release from the U.S. Olympic Committee celebrating a partnership with NBCUniversal and the International Paralympic Committee to bring more coverage than ever to U.S. viewers. Most of that will be via YouTube, but ... well, looky here, there will be actual TV coverage after all! A big 90 minutes on NBC on September 16, a week after the games are over, in the coveted prime-time slot of 2-3:30 p.m. EDT. Um, thanks?

To be fair, that's in addition to four one-hour highlight shows on NBCSN, a cable channel which is part of a pay-package of sports channels in my neck of the woods, at 7 p.m. EDT on September 4, 5, 6, and 11. So, that's something. Not much. But something. Clearly, though, although NBC is willing to throw the Paralympics a broadcast bone, these games are not considered ready for prime time.

I don't know. Personally, one of the highlights of NBC's Olympics coverage for me was the commercial about the woman whose military career ended when she lost her legs to a drunk driver, but who found new purpose on the Paralympic sitting volleyball team. The little bit of the game we saw made me want to see a lot more. As did Oscar Pistorius's couple of Olympic runs. Every time Bob Costas talked about Pistorius continuing his medal quest at the Paralympics, I yelled at the screen, "BUT WE WON'T SHOW IT TO YOU!" Why the heck not, I wonder? Anybody who can't make compelling TV out of the Paralympics shouldn't be in the TV-making business.

If you're outside the US and haven't located Paralympics coverage in your part of the world, this press release tells who has the broadcast rights in other countries. And for live online Paralympics coverage wherever you are, check the ParalympicSportTV channel on YouTube and Paralympics.org.

Photo by Terri Mauro

August 14, 2012 at 11:09 pm
(1) sylrayj says:

It is tough to really think about how often someone else makes our decisions for us. The networks decide what culture we will gain via programming options, and NBC decides that only people who can take time in the middle of the afternoon get to see anything about the Paralympics. Political correctness and censorship place blinders on everyone. It’s one thing to decide to shape the thoughts of the next generation, but who chooses what form we are to become? No wonder so many people feel like they don’t belong – it’s not easy to like everything that those in charge decide we’re supposed to like at the cost of everything else.

I certainly hope that the people who make these decisions can recognize that their world really should include everyone.

August 15, 2012 at 4:41 pm
(2) Shirley says:

I agree with sylrayj “I certainly hope that the people who make these decisions can recognize that their world really should include everyone.”

The world is so much more than the perfect bodies we see in the olympics (which I enjoyed) BUT that’s not most people. Paraolympics gives you the REAL human spirit of courage and determination that inspires us so much more than the “perfects” who also work hard but do they have what it really takes when life hands you a less-than-perfect situation or body? Paraolympics are the olympics of the soul.

August 18, 2012 at 6:19 pm
(3) Desmond Hobson says:

Oh, and that NBC time slot is as the same time as Week 2 of the National Football League, one of the final Sundays in the baseball pennant races, and the start of the NASCAR “playoffs.” How many people will watch, or even record this?

As someone with an intellectual disability, this disappoints me greatly. I know the host country will show it for 12 hours a day and there’s a lot of coverage probably planned in other countries. And here? It’s just a bunch of online streams and seven hours of highlights.

We can do better than that!

August 22, 2012 at 5:02 pm
(4) Mary says:

My son is 22-years-old and a new paraplegic. NBC had coverage of the Olympics on several channels and even advertised for the Paralympics. I encouraged for him to watch the Paralympics as a family. We shared the Olympics together, foolishly waiting for the Paralympics to come on. Nothing on 7 channels. Had to hunt around and discovered token coverage on YouTube. Why did NBC bother to announce Paralympics and then pull this. Shame on you, NBC

August 22, 2012 at 5:04 pm
(5) Mary says:

Not impressed NBC. Token coverage of the Paralympics on YouTube

August 24, 2012 at 12:37 am
(6) Liz says:

NBC should be ashamed of themselves….They cut out parts of the opening ceremony due to “political correctness” Heaven forbid they show some animals and at least two women singers were scratched. They really made the world mad when they cut out The Who…yes…. The Who… in the closing ceremonies! Now, they sink lower that the pipes of my toilet by totally ignoring the Paralympics. How pathetic are you money grubbing NBC CEOs throwing away these people like yesterdays trash. Why does the IOC allow a network to have the Olympic coverage but allows them to cut out important parts the they spent millions on to produce. I bet that no other country airing the ceremonies cut any part of it out. Good ole USA network BS..I say the IOC needs to have a new rule…Cover All of it or None of it!

September 7, 2012 at 10:02 am
(7) specialchildren says:

I watched all three clip shows this week on NBCSN, and … well, it was very nice to see the Paralympics on TV, and I guess a little is better than nothing … but boy, were those clips clipped. Little pieces of races, barely a mention for some winners. At lease we have the online videos for longer views of some events.

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