The Paralympics Opening Ceremonies ARE being broadcast live in BC at 6pm tonight

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UPDATE: Since we originally posted this story yesterday, CTV has announced they will air the opening ceremonies live starting at 6 PM PST in BC only. Here’s the release from CTV:

CTV has decided it will air tonight’s opening ceremonies for the Paralympic Games live after all – at least in Vancouver. The Olympic broadcaster’s initial plan had been to run the ceremonies tape delayed on Saturday, packaged with Team Canada’s first sledge hockey game. That decision had attracted some criticism. CTV now says it will air the opening ceremonies live in Vancouver beginning at 6 p.m. Pacific Time. The rest of the country, however, will have to wait. The show will air nationally on CTV on Saturday at 2 p.m. local time.

The show’s producer, Patrick Roberge, told reporters on Thursday that he initially questioned CTV’s decision to tape delay the ceremonies, but ultimately decided it was a good idea, because it would take advantage of the large audience for sledge hockey. Friday night’s show at BC Place will feature 5,000 performers who have been rehearsing for months. Mr. Roberge also promises the show will feature French language and multicultural content.

As the Paralympics climb slowly toward respectability, it seems that even we enlightened Canucks know how to spoil the party. Tomorrow night’s Paralympics Opening Ceremonies, which judging by the response we’ve been getting from readers, is going to be an exciting draw for Games fans. However, as others such as Vancouver Sun’s Jeff Lee have reported, your TV schedule instead will feature the regular nightly newscast, and a bunch of the regularly scheduled programming like E-Talk Daily.

Can we change this? Well, time is not on our side. But if enough of you begin contacting CTV Television via phone and email, perhaps we can convince them to reconsider airing the Paralympics Ceremonies live. Note, it is going to be shown live on TVs set up at Robson and LiveCity Downtown, and it is supposed to be aired the following day on CTV.

If you think contacting the broadcaster might be fruitless, consider two things. First, the noise created about the fence around the Olympic cauldron forced a response from VANOC, and they moved the fence. And second, know that the Federal government just provided an additional $12 million in funding for broadcasters to improve coverage of the Paralympics. That’s $12 million tax dollars, folks, and yet CTV is sticking with Ben Mulroney.

Here’s the contact info we were able to dig up:

CTV National Office

CTV British Columbia

  • Main Switchboard: (604) 608-2868
  • News Desk: (604) 609-5800
  • Or email bcnews@ctv.ca

TSN Audience Relations

  • 1-416-384-7660

Rogers Sportsnet

  • 1-888-451-6363

Finally, you should call VANOC, and ask them why the coverage is not being shown live:

VANOC

  • 1.778.328.2010 (Vancouver office)
  • 1.604.966.2572 (Whistler office)

This seems like a gimme for Vancouver’s Mayor, so we’re throwing a bone to him. Gregor, why don’t you call a press conference asking that the Paralympics opening ceremonies be shown live? It might go some way to make up for the lack of any Vancouver showcase during the Paralympics by the Host City.

Also, for those of you awake early tomorrow morning, I’m representing CityCaucus.com on CBC Early Edition with Rick Cluff at 6:50am. You can hear it at 88.1FM in Vancouver, 690AM or online streaming live at www.cbc.ca/earlyedition.

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  • Kelly

    Great idea. Its worth a try. The athletes would appreciate it I am sure.

  • Vanessa

    Shame on CTV!!! Shame on you for what you’ve done to our disabled athletes. I hope you never broadcast another olympic or paralympic games again. I’m switching my dial to Global TV news.

  • Debbie

    CTV just reported on late news in Vancouver that they have now decided to broadcast opening ceremonies live (6-8pm PST). That was quick! Not sure if it is national or just BC.

  • Maria

    There is nothing on CTV’s website that indicates that they will be broadcasting the opening ceremonies live. Can someone please confirm.

  • daniel (editor)

    I can confirm that CTV said last night they will air the Paralympic ceremony live starting at 6 pm and repeat it again on Saturday. We presume it will run live only in BC, however, we have not been able to confirm that.

  • Mark Freeman

    OK – good the CTV is saying they will show it. Maybe the realized leaving a void like this open means others will fill it.
    For anyone looking to see the event online or it looks like many of the sports, the IPC is ahead of the IOC. See http://www.paralympicsport.tv.

  • grob

    We complained, they listened and changed policy. That doesn’t happen in most countries this fast. Another reason to love Canada.

  • Lin

    Once again the power of the people DOES make a difference!! (reminds me of Heat shelter days and how we came together in FCN)
    I’d like to thank CityCaucus for spearheading actions to turn this around – it worked!
    I have also used and appreciated so much of your info on free Olympic venues.

  • Jak

    Is the Monk McQueen ice lounge open during the Paralympic games?

  • Pierre

    So how is the effort to getting the Paralympic Closing Ceremony broadcast live going?