ESPNU To Present Exclusive Paralympic Winter Games

In Sports, Wheelin' and Dealin' by Marvin Olberding

ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports network, will be the exclusive domestic telecaster of the Torino 2006 Paralympic Winter Games, providing extensive coverage from each day of competition with nine highlight shows April 3-6.

The games, which take place every four years, were held March 10-19 in Torino, Italy, and featured the world’s elite athletes with a disability competing in four sports: Alpine Skiing, Nordic Skiing (Biathlon and Cross-Country Skiing), Ice Sledge Hockey and Wheelchair Curling.

Each of the nine one-hour shows (three per day) will air commercial free, including the Opening and Closing Ceremonies featured on the first and last day of coverage, respectively.

All nine shows will re-air in succession Thursday, April 6, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. In addition, ESPNU on Demand will feature condensed video segments with exclusive content from the events.

“We are both honored and thrilled to join the International Paralympic Committee and United States Olympic Committee in presenting the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games to U.S. viewers on ESPNU,” said Burke Magnus, vice president and general manager ESPNU.

“The network’s coverage of the event will allow sports fans to witness the courage and passion of these extraordinary athletes from around the globe.”

Xavier Gonzalez, International Paralympic Committee CEO, stated: “The IPC is very happy about ESPNU’s coverage of the Torino 2006 Paralympic Winter Games. We hope this will be a stepping stone to extend the coverage of Paralympic sport in the USA. During Games-time, a large number of U.S. viewers logged on to the IPC’s Internet television channel, ParalympicSport.TV. This shows that there is definitely a big interest in Paralympic sport and its athletes.”

“Our media objective for the 2006 Paralympic Games was to enhance significantly the number of Americans we introduce to the Paralympic movement,” said Charlie Huebner, Chief of Staff, U.S. Olympic Committee.

“This agreement with the International Paralympic Committee and ESPNU supports that overall strategy and will allow more than 80 million Americans in 2006 to be introduced to Paralympic sport and athletes.”