IPC's Parsons 'hopes' Channel 4 will extend commitment to Paris 2024
Senior executives of the International Paralympic Committee and Channel 4 have met in Rome to discuss future broadcast plans for the Paralympic Games, in a move that appears to imply a long-term commitment by the UK commercial broadcaster to the games.
In a statement today, Andrew Parsons, the IPC’s president (pictured), said: “We have a fantastic relationship with Channel 4 and are great admirers of how they have helped us raise the profile of the Paralympics in the UK and across the globe.
“I and the IPC look forward to working closely with them in the build up to the 2020 games and hope that the key relationship we have with Channel 4 will continue to the Paris 2024 games, subject to relevant Paris 2024 procedures.”
In 2016, Channel 4 acquired rights to broadcast the PyeongChang 2018 winter and Tokyo 2020 summer games, having first shown the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Having been praised for its London 2012 coverage (and won an award), the broadcaster went on to acquire rights to the Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 Paralympics.
The IPC said that, in the meeting in Rome, “Channel 4 chief executive Alex Mahon and IPC president Andrew Parsons discussed ways in which the two organisations can strengthen their relationship, as the UK’s Paralympic broadcaster reaffirmed its commitment to the games and outlined its plans for Tokyo 2020.”
The broadcaster plans to show more live sport from Tokyo than any previous Paralympic Games across a range of channels and to “broadcast live every minute of every available live sport.”
Mahon said: “We hugely value our relationship with the IPC and hope to continue to work closely with them, to evolve Paralympics broadcasting and most importantly to challenge and change perceptions within the UK and globally.”The IPC last week held workshops in Los Angeles and New York with LA 2028, the organising committee for that year’s Paralympic Games in Los Angeles, to “kick-start preparations” for the games.
The IPC said that the workshops with leaders from LA 2028, the US Olympic Committee, NBC, the US Olympic Games broadcaster, and US Olympic and Paralympic Properties aimed “to provide a greater understanding of the IPC, evolution of the Paralympic Games and the impact the 2028 Paralympics will have on driving social inclusion in the US.”
Parsons said: “The Paralympic Games have grown beyond all recognition in recent years but have yet to really make inroads in the US where awareness levels remain relatively low. LA 2028 is an opportunity we must fully maximise therefore and over the next nine years I am fully confident we can make a real breakthrough for the Paralympic Movement in the US.
“The energy and enthusiasm displayed by all partners in the meetings was nothing short of electrifying and all involved fully understand the unique opportunity we have ahead of us. Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 will clearly take the Paralympics to the next level, but LA 2028 presents a platform for us to go even further by organising a games that will transform one of the biggest countries on earth.”Casey Wasserman, president of LA 2028, added: “The Paralympics represent endless possibility to celebrate the human spirit. We are proud to host the games in 2028 and create new opportunities the movement has yet to see.
“LA 2028 will be a turning point for the movement and that journey begins now. We are thinking about the Paralympics within everything we do - from operations to marketing to adaptive sport for young kids in our community. We couldn’t be more excited about the road ahead.”