UK broadcaster Channel 4 continues their longstanding commitment to Paralympic sport, securing rights to air the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.
With exactly four years to go until the opening ceremony, Channel 4 has today (28 August) been awarded the UK television rights for Paris 2024. The channel will have the opportunity to build on their legacy of ground-breaking London 2012 and Rio 2016 coverage.
Tony Estanguet, Paris 2024 president, says: “Together with Channel 4, Paris 2024 will aim to further build excitement around the Paralympics, to shine a spotlight on the exceptional performances of the athletes, and to illustrate how sport can change lives and engage the next generation to be part of the Games”
The deal with Channel 4 includes multi-platform broadcasts rights within the UK and will see the channel build on this acclaimed coverage which broke UK viewing records for Paralympic sport.
The London 2012 Paralympic Hames reached 69 per cent of the population.
Andrew Parsons, president of the International Paralympic Committee, says: “With London 2012 and Rio 2016, Channel 4 created a blueprint for how a commercial broadcaster can raise the profile of Paralympic sport and its athletes to new levels.
“They have 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.”
Paris 2024 is the first ever Summer edition of the Games to be organised in France, and for the first time in the history of the Games, Paris 2024 features a single emblem. This reflects its desire to place the Paralympic Games and the Olympic Games at the same level.
“We truly believe in the transformative power of sport and have been using the Paralympics to inspire change in attitudes towards disability in the UK since 2012,” explains Alex Mahon, chief executive of Channel 4.
“We believe with passion that the Paralympic Games can enrapture audiences, with high quality, dramatic, elite sport, and also drive social change in the perceptions of disability. There is nothing else quite like it.”
The Summer 2024 Games will showcase para-athletes’ performance in a unique way, organising the Games in some of the most iconic venues in Paris and its region. This includes Wheelchair Fencing in the Grand Palais, Blind Football in front of the Eiffel Tower and Para Equestrian in the Palace of Versailles.
The partnership with Channel 4 will reinforce Paris 2024’s commitment to make the Paralympic Games resonate across the entire world.
“The British public now experience Paralympic sport in a way which was unheard of before the London 2012 Paralympic Games and the first Games that Channel 4 broadcast,” emphasises Mike Sharrock, chief executive of the British Paralympic Association.
“Athletes have become household names and sports have been profiled but also the increase in the number of disabled people involved as presenters, production teams, marketing, recruitment and Channel 4 staff have all made significant impact in every aspect of Channel 4’s approach.”
“Channel 4 challenges the barriers that exist and helps to create role models which helps to support our vision that through sport, to inspire a better world for disabled people,” adds Mike.
Channel 4 aspires to maintain its position as a world leader in inclusion and accessibility with world class marketing and disabled presenting and production talent key to successful broadcasting of Paris 2024.
Sustainability will be at the heart of its coverage and the broadcaster aims to build on innovation within broadcasting that it has planned for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, now being held next year.
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.
“The decision to award Channel 4 the rights to Paris 2024 enables us to continue to broadcast ground-breaking and innovative coverage of the Paralympics, continue to build athlete profiles and to further cement the careers of our presenters,” explains Alex.
Channel 4 will also broadcast the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in 2021. Tokyo 2020 will see Channel 4 embrace technological advancements and the presenting team will be more diverse than ever before, including more senior roles in its production team for disabled people.