The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is celebrating its successful partnership with the International Paralympic Committee at the biggest ever Paralympic Games in Rio.
Viewing figures are at a record high with the Paralympic Movement expecting the cumulative global TV audience for the Games to top four billion people for the first time.
54 EBU members – more than half of the broadcasters on-site – are covering the Games thanks to a rights deal negotiated by the EBU with the IPC. An unprecedented 750 plus staff from member broadcasters are in Rio to cover the Games across multiple platforms.
France Télévisions, for example, is broadcasting more than 100 hours of live programming on France 2 and 4 as well as a series of special programmes and documentaries. The first weekend of the Games reached audiences of 1.3 to 1.8 million viewers.
RTÉ Sport in Ireland has significantly increased its Paralympic coverage for Rio 2016, with a mixture of highlights and live coverage across television, radio, online and mobile.
While NOS, the Dutch broadcaster, has reached 3.2 million viewers so far and their Paralympic internet site has already reached 350,000 people, which is more than the total of the London 2012 and Sochi 2014 put together.
The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games have not been without their challenges. However the Games have proved a huge success, both in Rio and throughout the world, challenging the perceptions of para sports and its athletes.
Director of Eurovision Services and Sports Rights Stefan Kuerten said: “We believe sport is a powerful tool for engaging people and uniting societies and we are delighted by the interest shown by broadcasters and audiences in this year’s Games.
“The EBU will continue to work with Sports Federations to try and ensure major sporting events such as the Paralympic Games are made available to fans and viewers on free-to-air. This is a key component of public service broadcasting.”
Alexis Schafer, commercial and marketing director for the IPC, said: “The positive response of viewers to the coverage illustrates the excellence of Paralympic athletes and the level of competition at the Rio Games.
“The IPC is delighted about the increased amount of coverage and quality of the production. It illustrates the fruitful development of our longstanding partnership with the EBU and its members.”