In its first foray into sports programming, A&E has struck a deal with the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Salt Lake Organizing Committee to present daily coverage of the first Paralympic Winter Games in the U.S. March 9-16.
A&E hosts Harry Smith and Joan Lunden will anchor the network’s coverage, which will include broadcasts of the daily events and nightly profiles of the athletes from 6-7 p.m. ET.
The Bud Sports Prods., a division of Anheuser-Busch, will produce the highlights programs for A&E. Profiles include one from Chris Koseluk and Cindy Mulkern of Never Dull Prods. that follows the personal lives of the athletes for months, highlighting training and preparation for competition.
“Our coverage of the Paralympic Winter Games will include some of the incredible stories behind these world-class athletes striving for gold as they achieve lifetime goals at the pinnacle of their sport,” said Allen Sabinson, A&E senior vice president of programming.
Physically challenged athletes from around the world compete for a total of 100 medals in three events — Alpine skiing, Nordic skiing and a form of ice hockey.
“We are very excited to have such powerful television partners as A&E to bring such an exhilarating sporting event to the United States,” said Mitt Romney, SLOC president and CEO. USOC chief executive officer Lloyd D. Ward said, “These outstanding athletes are not only very talented on the snow and ice, but also an inspiration to us all in facing the challenges of life.”