BY Matt Williams
Channel 4 didn’t exactly set the world alight when it covered the World Athletics Championship from Daegu last year.
A host of broadcasting gaffes made for some seriously uncomfortable viewing, and even resulted in anchor Ortis Deley being axed less than halfway through the event (if you can stomach it, take a look at one example of his expert presenting skills here).
Indeed, if it wasn’t for the inclusion of John Rawling as commentator and Michael Johnson as pundit – by far two of the best broadcasters working across any sport at the moment – then the calls for Channel 4 to be stripped off its rights to show the upcoming Paralympic Games would have been even louder from some quarters.
Of course, Channel 4 promised that it would learn from its Korean experience before taking on the real test in London next month. And while the jury is still out on what the actual broadcast will be like, you have to say that a spot released by the company last night promoting their coverage suggests big improvements.
Created by 4Creative, 'Meet the Superhumans' is a very powerful ad. There are no fluffy or cuddly messages here, just 90-seconds of raw emotion. It’s daring, hard-hitting, and puts the incredible heroics of Paralympics athletes at the heart of the story.
And with the BBC choosing to take a far safer animated route, focusing on London as the host city rather than any of the specific athletes involved, Channel 4’s brave approach has certainly paid off.