Channel 4 sets out its most ambitious ever Paralympic plans including 300 hours of live round the clock content

Channel 4’s main presentation team for the 2021 Paralympics includes a first for a British broadcaster, with 70% disabled representation

Channel 4, the UK rights holder for the Paralympics, has laid out its plans for extensive coverage this summer that will include over 300 hours of round the clock live Paralympics content from studios in Tokyo, Leeds and London.

It has also announced a new Paralympics Microsite that will feature 16 live streams and over 1,000 hours of broadcasting; a first from a UK broadcaster.

This marks Channel 4’s most ambitious plans for coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, including a multi-location studio format and an all-star presenting team for the forthcoming Games, of which 70% are disabled.

Channel 4’s Tokyo Paralympics coverage will be produced by Whisper.

Channel 4 has multi-platform broadcast rights within the UK and for the first time will have an unparalleled commitment of 16 live streams on its Paralympics Microsite, showing over 1,000 hours, meaning more live sport than ever before will be available to audiences.

Channel 4’s director of programmes Ian Katz said: “Channel 4 has long played a fundamental role in bringing a global audience to the Paralympic Games and for shifting perceptions of disabled people through our significant investment in coverage and award-winning marketing campaigns for London 2012 and Rio 2016. Now we’re finally able to get excited about bringing the long-awaited Tokyo 2020 Paralympics to UK viewers with even more coverage than ever before across multiple platforms, from multiple locations and hosted by a stellar presenting team.

“We’re looking forward to bringing the best coverage possible to the British public so we can all get behind ParalympicsGB and celebrate their success in Tokyo.”

The UK Paralympic broadcaster will have a unique multi-location presentation model with its Paralympic Breakfast Show and morning sports competition coming live from Leeds, where the broadcaster’s National HQ is based.

The Highlights show will then come to UK audiences from Tokyo, before returning to Leeds for an early evening show celebrating ParalympicsGB medals of the day, followed by The Last Leg, which will be broadcast to audiences daily from London. Live overnight sport then comes from Japan.

In a first for the broadcaster, More 4 will be a dedicated team sports channel live from Tokyo which will see matches featuring ParalympicsGB teams in wheelchair rugby and wheelchair basketball.

The broadcaster has established itself since London 2012 with a world-class presenting team featuring disabled presenters, and for the Tokyo Games Channel 4 will feature the largest number of disabled presenters ever seen on UK television.

The team bringing the Paralympics to UK audiences include Ade Adepitan helming the Highlights show from Tokyo, and established presenters including Sophie Morgan, JJ Chalmers and Ed Jackson will be joined Lee McKenzie and Vick Hope reporting from Japan.

In the UK, Clare Balding will present live sport finals from Leeds, which take place UK morning time, while Arthur Williams and Steph McGovern will head up a daily Paralympics Breakfast Show from the same location.

The Last Leg, produced by Open Mike, will also be placed at the heart of Channel 4’s prime time schedule throughout the entirety of the Tokyo Paralympic Games, bringing together top-level sporting action and award-winning entertainment. Adam Hills, Alex Brooker and Josh Widdicombe will present their show daily from London and will be joined by Rosie Jones reporting from Tokyo.

Experienced pundits bringing sports action include Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, Steve Brown, Liam Malone, Danny Crates and Liz Johnson.

The delayed Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will see the broadcaster build on its acclaimed coverage of London 2012 and Rio 2016 which broke UK viewing records for Paralympic sport. London 2012 reached 69% of the population.

Channel 4 aspires to maintain its prized position as a world leader in inclusion and accessibility and Tokyo 2020 will be the most accessible Paralympics ever. Channel 4 and More 4 will carry live subtitles and the Opening Ceremony will have live signing and live enhanced open AD/commentary simulcast on 4Seven. The majority of content on the Paralympics Microsite will also have subtitles.

Between 2012 and 2016 Channel 4 showcased more hours of Paralympic sport than any other broadcaster in history and created household names of both athletes and presenters. The 2016 award-winning Superhumans campaign was the most shared campaign globally of any Olympic or Paralympic partner, reaching over 48 million people around the world.

A strong season of long- and short-form editorial build-up programming will commence later this summer including Jonnie’s Blade Camp, Billy Monger Changing Gear, which has been produced with Toyota, Sophie’s Great Escape and an exclusive series with Olympic athlete Michael Johnson meeting ParalympicsGB athletes.

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will take place from 24 August to 6 September. In 2020 Channel 4 was awarded the rights for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

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