Channel 4 wins rights to cover Paralympics through to 2016

Channel 4 remains "the Paralympic broadcaster"
Channel 4 is to offer round the clock coverage of the next Paralympic Summer Games in Rio in 2016, with a minimum of 200 hours of coverage across its portfolio of channels, including highlights and features and the return of The Last Leg following the broadcaster's successful bid to retain the rights to the Games for the next three years.

Last year, Channel 4 offered comprehensive coverage including three extra channels which aired in HD on satellite and cable platforms, and one extra Paralympic channel on Freeview HD. Coverage broke viewing records for Paralympic sports. Until 2012, Paralympic sport was covered on the BBC.

As part of the new deal, Channel 4 will  also screen over 45 hours of coverage from next year's Sochi Paralympic Winter Games - providing the most UK television coverage to date of the Paralympic Winter Games.

According to a press release issued by the International Paralympics Association, Channel 4 will show coverage of major international para-sport events in the lead up to Rio 2016. This will include July's IPC Athletics World Championships in France and August's IPC Swimming World Championships which will take place in Montreal, Canada.

Announcing the deal, 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.

This is the first time the IPC has agreed a two Games deal with a TV station and I would like to thank Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 for their support and co-operation. To sign up such a high quality broadcaster so soon after the conclusion of the Games underlines the growth of the Paralympic Movement and the significant impact London 2012 had."

David Abraham, Channel 4’s Chief Executive said: "The London 2012 Paralympic Games was a landmark moment in the history of broadcasting Paralympic sport. 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."

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