January 9, 2014 (ISN) – The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has awarded the exclusive host broadcast rights in Japan for the Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games to Japan’s only public broadcaster NHK.
Under the terms of the agreement NHK, who have a long history of screening the Paralympic Games in Japan will broadcast over 29 hours of coverage from March’s Winter Paralympics in Sochi and 46 hours from Rio 2016 on 2 free-to-air terrestrial TV 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 at their terrestrial TV channel and will screen daily 30 minute long highlights programmes during the Sochi Winter Paralympics. For Rio 2016, the highlights show will be extended to one hour each day of competition.
NHK also has the option to broadcast World Championship staged by IPC sports including athletics, swimming, alpine skiing, Nordic skiing and ice sledge hockey between now and 31 December 2016 and other para-sport events.
Sir Philip Craven, IPC President, said: “We are absolutely delighted to extend our long-term and extremely strong partnership with NHK for a further four years.
“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.”
Masayuki Higuchi, Head of NHK Sports, said: “We are looking forward to have the opportunity to work alongside IPC to deliver the excitement of the Games. As a public broadcaster we feel the responsibility in bringing the positive influence towards disability sports. We will strongly commit to push forward the Paralympic movement in Japan that will lead to the success of Tokyo 2020.”
Ahead of both Games, NHK will promote the Paralympics through the creation of dedicated websites, pre-programming and comprehensive and wide-ranging marketing campaigns.
NHK has also sub-licensed some rights to SKY Perfect JSAT, a subscription based satellite channel, who, 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.
The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games will take place between 7-16 March and will feature around 700 athletes from 45 countries who will compete in 72 medal events across five sports.
They are set to be break all Winter Paralympics viewing records with TV deals having already been announced for Canada, Europe, Great Britain, Russia and with more to come.