LONDON 2012: Sky and Virgin to carry Channel 4’s extra Paralympics channels

Sky and Virgin Media customers will be able to watch uninterrupted coverage of the 2012 London Paralympic Games this summer via three new channels dedicated to screening Channel 4’s exclusive live coverage

Channel 4’s extra channels, which are being created specifically for the Paralympics, will be available in both standard definition (SD) and high-definition (HD) on Sky, meaning that more than five million customers with Sky+HD boxes will be able to enjoy the Paralympics in pinpoint high-definition, creating an even richer and more immersive experience.

The channels are also expected to launch on Virgin Media, and will complement Channel 4’s comprehensive coverage across C4, More4 and

Sports such as athletics, swimming and basketball will feature on the channels, with uninterrupted live coverage on selected sessions.

The new channels will launch on Sky’s Electronic Program Guide (EPG) on August 29.

Additionally, because Sky homes will be able to view the channels via the Sky EPG, Sky+ homes will be able to record the coverage to watch at a time that suits them, so that they need not miss any of the action.

As with the rest of the HD channels on the Sky platform, the new channels will be broadcast in 1080i and in wide-screen to enhance the viewing experience.

Details of C4’s extra Paralympics channels on the Virgin Media platform will be announced shortly.

The agreement with Channel 4 follows an announcement last month that Sky will carry every second of the BBC’s live coverage of the Olympic Games on 24 dedicated channels, which will be available in both standard and high-definition from July.

In addition, Channel 4 has unveiled full details of its coverage at a press launch at its headquarters in London, outlining its on-screen presentation team and commentary line-ups. 

Channel 4 has committed to broadcasting a minimum of 150 hours of coverage across the 12 days of the event, an 400% increase in output compared to the BBC’s coverage of the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.

Select coverage of the events will appear in HD on Channel4 and More4, with the broadcaster also streaming extensive online coverage.

Channel 4 have also announced that their coverage will be utilising a brand new innovation called ‘Lexi’ to explain the various classifications of each Paralympic sport.

The tool, developed by former paralympian Giles Long, will be used by the on-screen team to explain the different impairments to viewers and with how they affect the athletes’ capabilities in individual sports.

The six new C4 Paralympics channels – three HD and three SD – will be added to the Sports section of Sky’s Electronic Programme Guide from the 29th of August, and will be showing Channel 4’s coverage of the games in its entirety.

The channels are free-to-air and available to any Sky home, including Freesat from Sky homes. The HD channels are available on any Sky+HD box and do not require a subscription, but do require an HD ready TV.



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