Channel 4 lands Paralympics rights for 2014, 2016

UK commercial broadcaster Channel 4 has won the television rights for the next two Paralympics after a competitive tendering procedure. Under the agreement with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), C4 will cover both the Winter and Summer Games in 2014 and 2016, respectively.

C4 was praised for its coverage of the London 2012 Paralympics, which was produced for it by IMG and Sunset+Vine. The new deal gives the broadcaster UK multi-platform rights to the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia and the Rio Games two years later. C4 will broadcast 45 hours of coverage from Sochi, the most so far of a Winter Paralympics by a UK TV station.

A minimum of 200 hours will come from Rio, including live transmissions, highlights and the comedy magazine show The Last Leg. C4 is also planning to expand on the three live streams produced for digital platforms during London 2012, which will give a total of more than 500 hours for the 2016 event.

Commenting on the announcement, Sir Philip Craven, president of the IPC, said: “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.”

This is the first time the IPC has signed a two-Games deal with a television broadcaster and further extends C4’s portfolio of para-sporting events, which also includes the Athletics World Championships from Lyon and the Swimming World Championships in Montreal.

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