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Lord Coe backs Channel 4 over Paralympics coverage

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Channel 4 logo at Channel 4 Headquarters

© Rex Features

London 2012 chairman Lord Sebastian Coe has said that he "couldn't want for a better broadcast partner than Channel 4" for next summer's Paralympic Games, despite criticism of the channel's coverage of the World Athletics Championships.

Last year, Channel 4 secured the broadcast rights to the London 2012 Paralympic Games, and pledged to air more than 150 hours of live coverage of the events.

The broadcaster also snapped up the IAAF World Athletics Championships ahead of the BBC, after the corporation had aired the tournament for 27 years.

However, Channel 4's coverage in Daegu, South Korea has attracted criticism from viewers, and lead presenter Ortis Deley was dropped after a series of gaffes led to numerous complaints.

But Lord Coe has backed Channel 4 to make a success of the Paralympic coverage next year.

"I didn't see the coverage in Daegu, but what I will say is that I couldn't want for a better broadcast partner than Channel 4," Lord Coe said.

"When choosing Channel 4 we did not make judgments that were simply based on amount of air time and live coverage. It was the best deal on the table.

"Channel 4 have never really done live sport but their production teams have done it. Sunset+Vine have a very good track record of delivering sport."

Speaking today to reporters at International Paralympic Day in Trafalgar Square, he added: "The Channel 4 magazine is very, very good. We also have documentaries.

"We are showcasing Paralympians, the sports they do, the backgrounds they have come from and some of the broader stuff like attitudes towards disability.

"We are not shying away from that either. From Channel 4 we could not have wanted a better approach than that."

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