Channel 4 secure 2014 and 2016 Games coverage
Following the success of the media coverage of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Channel 4 has been granted the rights to four more years of Paralympic sport, including multi-platform broadcast rights within the UK. Channel 4 has committed to screening over 45 hours of coverage from the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, the most ever by a British broadcaster. For Rio 2016 Channel 4 is planning to screen a minimum of 200 broadcast hours across Channel 4’s portfolio, including live coverage, highlights and shows such as The Last Leg.
The British Paralympic Association congratulated Channel 4 on their appointment as UK host broadcaster for the 2014 and 2016 Paralympic Games. Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of the British Paralympic Association said:
“Whilst this is clearly huge news for the Paralympic movement internationally, as it shows other broadcasters around the world that there is a real market for Paralympic sport, for us in the UK it demonstrates that 2012 really was a ground breaking year. The Paralympic movement in our country has never been stronger and we've always said we wanted 2012 to be a launch pad to developing it further. So to have our broadcaster in place so far ahead of the next two Paralympic Games and with a commitment to cover events in the build up to them is a fantastic place to be. Our thanks go to the IPC for working hard on securing this and our congratulations to Channel 4 for winning the rights against stiff competition. Their dedication and passion for the Paralympics is clear for all to see and we look forward to working with them over the next four years to carry on the job that we have started so successfully in London 2012.”
Among Channel 4’s commitments announced are:
- Coverage of major international disability sport events
- The creation a major theatrical documentary, supported by Film 4 Production
- Continuation of its award winning marketing campaigns over the next four years
- Continuation of its work on developed disabled presenting talent. One of Channel 4's new reporters will also be trained up to become a dedicated Paralympic correspondent on Channel 4 news.
- The employment an International Ambassador for Paralympic Media, who can offer a free consultancy service to broadcasters of Paralympic Sport in developing and emergent countries.
Following the announcement, IPC President Sir Philip Craven 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."
Channel 4's Chief Executive, David Abraham, added:
"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 sport in general. I am delighted that we have the opportunity to build on this achievement over the next four years."
The IPC announced their decision on broadcast rights on Friday 8 February 2013.