ABC, ESPN Sign On To Broadcast Special Olympics
Thousands of athletes with intellectual disabilities from around the world will be featured on national television when they come together to compete next year.
ABC and ESPN said they will broadcast portions of the week-long Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria in March.
The opening ceremony on March 18 will air on ABC followed by coverage from the games the following day.
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In addition, ESPN2 will feature highlights and interviews from the games each night of competition and segments will air on SportsCenter and other ESPN shows during the week. The network said the games will also be highlighted through ESPN’s website and apps.
“Our athletes are often forgotten in sports, and in many aspects of life, so the attitude-changing coverage ESPN will provide will help us get that much closer to achieving our vision of creating inclusive communities all over the world,” said Mary Davis, CEO of Special Olympics.
Beyond the United States, ESPN said the games will be available in at least 190 countries and territories through its TV and streaming offerings.
The arrangement with ESPN will mark the first time that the Special Olympics World Winter Games will be broadcast and it comes following the network’s significant coverage of the summer games in Los Angeles last year.
Special Olympics World Games are held every two years, alternating between winter and summer. The upcoming games in Austria are expected to draw over 2,600 athletes and coaches from 106 countries.