Japanese public-service broadcaster NHK has signed a four-year extension to its rights deal with the International Paralympic Committee in an agreement that grants it the exclusive broadcast rights in Japan for the Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Under the terms of the agreement, which runs through until December 31, 2016, NHK will broadcast over 29 hours of coverage from March's winter Paralympics in Sochi and 46 hours from Rio 2016 on two free-to-air terrestrial television channels – General TV and Educational TV. In addition, for the first time ever in winter Games, NHK will show live coverage of the opening ceremony on terrestrial television and screen daily 30-minute long highlights programmes during the Sochi Paralympics. For Rio 2016, the highlights show will be extended to one hour for each day of competition.
The IPC said NHK has sub-licensed some rights to pay-television channel Sky Perfect JSat, which for Sochi 2014 will create a free-to-air 24-hour Paralympic channel. In total it will show over 200 hours of coverage, made up of 70 hours of live coverage, highlights and pre-recorded programmes.
NHK also has the option to broadcast World Championships staged by IPC sports such as athletics, swimming, alpine skiing, Nordic skiing and ice sledge hockey through the duration of the new contract, along with other para-sport events.
Sir Philip Craven, IPC president, said: “With Tokyo 2020 on the horizon, it is vitally important that we continue to raise awareness of the Paralympic brand in Japan not just during the Paralympic Games, but all year round. This deal, which makes NHK the official Paralympic broadcaster in Japan, will go a long way in helping us to achieve this. The deal means more Paralympic coverage than ever before in Japan and far greater promotion in advance of the Games. It provides the perfect platform for us to build upon in the years leading up to Tokyo 2020.”