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'Equal access to paralympics must be guaranteed' - Dee Doocey

September 9, 2009 12:00 AM

Dee Doocey, the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Olympics Spokesperson, has received an assurance from the Mayor that he will seek to ensure that the Paralympic Games can be viewed on 'free to view' television and not just be limited to subscription channels.

At today's Mayor's Question Time at City Hall Dee stressed to the Mayor that the broadcasting contract for the 2012 Paralympic Games has not yet been awarded. Unlike the Olympic Games they are not included in broadcasting legislation as one of the 'listed' sporting events which guarantees free access to television viewers.

Speaking after the question time Dee said:

"It would be totally unacceptable if access to the Paralympic Games was restricted, with people forced to pay to watch them on television. Such a development would marginalise the Paralympic Games and be a complete betrayal of the promises that were made about the Games being fully accessible.

"It is regrettable that the broadcasting legislation doesn't treat the Olympics and the Paralympics Games equally. As a member of the Olympic Board the Mayor must now use all his influence to ensure that the Paralympic Games are not treated as an 'add on' to the Olympics in terms of TV coverage."

ENDS

1. The webcast of today's Mayor's Question Time can be accessed at http://www.london.gov.uk/assembly/webcasts.jsp starting at 2 hours and 24 minutes.

2. Only the following sporting events are protected in law and must be broadcast on 'free to view' television:

a. The Olympic Games

b. The FIFA World Cup Finals Tournament

c. The FA Cup Final

d. The Scottish FA Cup Final (in Scotland)

e. The Grand National

f. The Derby

g. The Wimbledon Tennis Finals

h. The Rugby League Challenge Cup Final

i. The Rugby World Cup Final

3. At the Beijing Paralympic Games the UK came second in the total number of medals awarded to any country. For the Beijing Olympics the UK came fourth with 47 medals.