Attitude Live, the website of production company Attitude Pictures, will house 44 hours of live streamed video from this year's Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia next month.
Attitude has secured the broadcast rights to the event, previously held by Sky and TVNZ. TVNZ has partnered with Attitude to offer highlights in its news programmes and on demand. The Attitude Live website was built by Auckland company Pitch and launched last September.
The responsive site is already home to Attitude Pictures' library of content including episodes from the television series that screens on TV One on Sundays, and the Attitude Awards. It uses the Kaltura open source video player and features closed captions, audio descriptions and a font for people with dyslexia.
"It's fully inclusive," says Attitude global development manager Ann-Marie Quinn. "There's not a lot out there that's as sophisticated as this particular web platform. "The audience for Paralympic sport isn't confined to people with disabilities and [the website] has that look and feel for the general public as well."
She adds a responsive site was important because a lot of people with disabilities use tablets and handheld devices.
The company recognises the shift in major events being available to view online as well as via traditional broadcasts. "What we're seeing across the sports sector is the delivery mechanisms are becoming more neutral," says broadcast consultant Denis Harvey.
The company wouldn't say what it paid to secure the rights, but it has up to $261,000 funding from New Zealand On Air for a documentary special, including broad coverage of the games.
Attitude Pictures founder and chief executive Robyn Scott-Vincent says the deal is a highly collaborative agreement and it will share content with other media to ensure broad coverage.
“Attitude’s producers will package highlights for TVNZ and we are talking to other potential media partners,” Scott-Vincent says. “Part of our belief is that we need to engage the audience and raise the profile of the athletes and that this will help change attitudes towards the one in five New Zealanders who live with disability."
TVNZ Head of Television Jeff Latch says TVNZ has a long-standing partnership with Attitude Pictures and is looking forward to working with Scott-Vincent and her team on bringing coverage from Sochi.
ACC is a sponsor of Attitude Live and the production company is seeking more sponsors for the site.
Attitude says its coverage will focus on events New Zealand athletes are competing in. They are skiers Adam Hall and Corey Peters, and snowboarder Carl Murphy.
Attitude will send a crew to Sochi including presenter Dan Buckingham. He was part of the gold medal winning Wheelblacks team from Athens 2004.
The company has long associations with Paralympic sport, producing a documentary about the London Paralympics two years ago. It sees this year's coverage as a chance to extend its library of content that featuring New Zealand athletes, says Quinn.
"We've been filming with athletes like [swimmer] Sophie Pascoe and Adam Hall since they were young teenagers. We have this amazing back catalogue of footage with these guys. We see this as an opportunity to develop this relationship and an opportunity to bring Paralympic sport to the wider public."