The International Paralympic Committee has awarded the UK television rights for the Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games to Channel 4.
As part of the agreement Channel 4 will screen over 45 hours of coverage from the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games – the most ever by a British broadcaster.
In the lead-up to Rio 2016, the broadcaster will also show coverage of major international para-sport events. This will include July’s IPC Athletics World Championships from Lyon, France and August’s IPC Swimming World Championships which will take place in Montreal, Canada.
For Rio 2016 Channel 4 is planning round the clock coverage of the Games with a commitment to screening a minimum of 200 broadcast hours across Channel 4’s portfolio including live coverage, highlights and the return of the The Last Leg which was a huge hit with viewers over the summer. Channel 4 will also build on the three live streams of coverage it offered for London 2012 on digital platforms and, in total, will broadcast over 500 hours of coverage from Rio.
“The London 2012 Paralympic Games was a landmark moment in the history of broadcasting Paralympic sport,” said David Abraham, Channel 4’s Chief Executive.
“Not only did Channel 4’s coverage reach record audiences but, more importantly, it had a meaningful and positive impact on UK attitudes to disability and disability sport in general. I’m delighted that we have the opportunity to build on this achievement over the next four years and to work alongside the IPC to deliver both the Winter Games from Sochi in 2014 and the Summer Games from Rio in 2016.”
Sir Philip Craven, IPC President, said: “We are delighted to extend our partnership with Channel 4 following its stunning success in covering the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
“With London 2012 Channel 4 created a blueprint for how a commercial broadcaster can raise the profile of Paralympic sport and its athletes to new levels. They reached record audiences, in particular young people, identified and developed some fantastic new presenting talent and played a significant role in delivering seismic shifts in attitudes and perceptions towards people with an impairment in the UK.
“They have promised to build on this fantastic work over the next four years and we look forward to working with them as they help contribute to the IPC’s vision of enabling Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence to inspire and excite the world.”