Sydney is set to remain in the international spotlight with organisers of the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games confirming that worldwide television coverage will far exceed the level set by the Atlanta Paralympic Games in 1996.

And in addition to television coverage, more than 100 hours of live coverage of the Paralympic Games will be available over the Internet in the most ambitious sports webcast ever mounted at any sporting event. (The IOC prevents moving pictures of Olympic competition from appearing on the web but the Paralympics are not subject to the same restrictions).

‘On 18 October 2000, the entire concept of presenting sports events will take a radical turn – for the better’ said Rick Gentile, Executive Producer of WeMedia Sports international webcast and US television of the Games.

By any measure, the Sydney Paralympic Games will eclipse any previous Paralympic benchmarks and set new standards in sport for athletes with a disability.

‘Rightsholders are paying a lot more for TV rights for the Paralympic Games than in 1992 or 1996 but they are getting a lot more in return,’ Simon Thomas, Senior Manager for Television with the Sydney Paralympic Organising Committee (SPOC) said.

‘We are confident that the quality of host broadcast production will be very high and of course the Games themselves will be bigger than ever before. Competition will be in the venues that have proven so successful for the Olympic Games – and no-one needs reminding what a great backdrop Sydney is for this kind of event.

SPOC has been assisted in its broadcast rights sales by its London-based marketing partner Media Content PLC.

Siabhan Graffius of Media Content said: ‘Sydney has raised the bar for future Paralympic Games in terms of television coverage and obtainable rights fees. Broadcasters are now acknowledging the importance of sport for athletes with disability in their programming mix.’

SPOC and Media Content have now finalised television rights deals with networks on every continent. Coverage is expected to reach over 100 countries worldwide, and total viewing hours are expected to be at least triple the amount of coverage received by Atlanta.

Prime-time programming of the Games is being planned throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and the United States, and the Opening Ceremony (on 18 October 2000) will be broadcast live in Germany, Spain, China, Korea and Japan, in addition to the Internet:

A collaboration between Sydney-based television facilities company – Global Television (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Television & Media Services Ltd) – and leading production company – All Media Sports – will act as Host Broadcaster for the Games of XI Paralympiad from 18-29 October, 2000.

Source: SOCOG