BROADCASTER: Ade Adepitan was part of Channel 4's excellent coverage
IN A significant appraisal of their Paralympic coverage in Rio, Sir Philip Craven has lauded Channel 4 for ‘setting the benchmark’ for the world to follow.
Last week the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and Channel 4 signed a letter of intent for the broadcaster to remain as Great Britain’s Paralympic rights holder until 2020, covering the next two editions of the Paralympic Games and the London 2017 Para Athletics World Championships.
Channel Four won a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award for Sport and Live Event for their coverage of the 2012 London Paralympic Games and Craven’s ringing endorsement of their output in Rio, which included Ade Adepitan, is another feather in their cap.
During Rio Channel Four broadcast over 700 hours of Paralympics coverage – with coverage watched by 28 million viewers, nearly half of all UK TV viewers.
The broadcaster made a groundbreaking commitment to on and off-screen diversity, assembling the largest ever team of disabled presenters on UK television and training 20 disabled production staff that worked on coverage of the Games.
“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,” said Craven.
He added: “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.
“By extending our long-term partnership for a further four years covering London 2017, PyeongChang 2018 and Tokyo 2020 we can work together to build on the great work and achievements of the last four years.”
Channel Four’s Chief Executive David Abraham said: “The Paralympics speaks to Channel 4’s public service remit on many levels and I’m incredibly proud that our coverage and marketing of the Games has both helped change public perceptions of people with impairments and encouraged broadcasters around the world to show Paralympic sport.
“I’m delighted to be extending our partnership with the IPC and the worldwide Paralympic movement and I know everyone at Channel 4 will be thrilled at the prospect of raising the bar even higher than before in PyeongChang 2018 and Tokyo 2020.”
Ahead of Rio 2016, Channel 4’s advertising campaign ‘We’re the Superhumans’ won worldwide acclaim, becoming the most shared Olympic or Paralympic ad globally in 2016.