You can watch an Olympics live from Sydney—on your computer. Beginning on Oct. 18 at 4:30 a.m. (ET), wemedia.com, an online service for people with disabilities, will webcast live all 12 days of the Paralympic Games from Down Under. "We want to capture the immediacy and color of these Games that, frankly, was missing from NBC's Olympic coverage," says WeMedia Sports vice president of programming Jay Rosenstein, a former CBS Sports vice president.
More than 4,000 athletes with disabilities from 128 nations will compete in 18 events. Each day—or should we say night, since from Thursday to Oct. 29, programming will commence at 6:30 p.m. and continue for 12 hours—the site will provide not only live coverage but, borrowing a page from the NBC playbook, also a triplecast of sorts. "Viewers will have three video-stream options," says Rosenstein, "so that if track and field, wheelchair basketball and swimming are taking place simultaneously, you can choose which event you want to watch, live."
The para in Paralympics stands for parallel, and in some ways wemedia.com's coverage will resemble a side-by-side version of NBC's. The studio host is Bree Walker, wife of MSNBC's Olympic studio host, Jim Lampley. There will be plenty of athlete profiles, and many will tug at your emotions, just as NBC's did. "Look at the athletes here," says Rosenstein. "Every one of them, merely by being a Paralympian, has an uplifting story."