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Channel 4 set to extend Paralympic rights deal

The International Paralympic Committee and Channel 4 have signed a letter of intent for the commercial broadcaster to remain as the UK’s Paralympic rights-holder until 2020.

The agreement announced today (Wednesday) covers the 2018 winter Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang, Korea, the 2020 summer Games in Tokyo, Japan and the London 2017 Para Athletics World Championships.

The letter of intent outlines the principles of a new agreement between the IPC and Channel 4, with negotiations over the details of the contract set to continue over the coming weeks. It comes following the conclusion of the 2016 summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, where Channel 4 broadcast over 700 hours of coverage.

The broadcaster also made a ground-breaking commitment to on and off-screen diversity, assembling the largest ever team of disabled presenters on UK television and training 20 disabled production staff who worked on coverage of the Games.

Sir Philip Craven, IPC president, said: “As shown with its outstanding coverage of Rio 2016, Channel 4 continues to set the international benchmark for how Paralympic sport should be covered by a broadcaster. They lead the way both on and off the screen and we look forward to working with them for a further four years through to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

“Whether it is producing international award winning TV advertisements promoting Paralympic sport, recruiting on and off screen talent with an impairment or delivering BAFTA award winning coverage, Channel 4 fully understands that its coverage is not only enthralling audiences but changing attitudes towards people with an impairment.

“Channel 4 has built a reputation on innovating and bringing a new approach to Para sport coverage which many other broadcasters around the world are now following.”