“In London one of the biggest growth areas was in the number of tickets sold. After selling 2.72 million tickets – almost one million more than Beijing - the Paralympics have secured their place as the third biggest sporting event in terms of ticket sales behind the Olympics and FIFA World Cup."
As the London 2012 Paralympic Games debrief concluded in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Thursday (22 November), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) challenged Rio 2016 to build on this summer’s success, especially in the area of broadcast where London enjoyed record international TV audiences.
In the Closing Plenary attended by over 500 delegates, IPC Chief Executive Officer Xavier Gonzalez once again praised London 2012 for delivering the ‘best ever Paralympics Games’ and reiterated the IPC’s desire to bring the world to Rio in 2016.
Xavier Gonzalez said: “No-one can question that the London 2012 Games were the best ever, with many firsts and records broken. However no-one can be in any doubt that the Games are nowhere yet near fulfilling their full potential. There are so many areas for growth, and between now and 2016 we need to all work together to ensure the Games continue to go from strength-to-strength.
“In London one of the biggest growth areas was in the number of tickets sold. After selling 2.72 million tickets – almost one million more than Beijing - the Paralympics have secured their place as the third biggest sporting event in terms of ticket sales behind the Olympics and FIFA World Cup.
“In Rio we need to consolidate this position whilst looking to grow the number of international spectators buying tickets. London was also the first Games where all commercial partners activated their Paralympic rights. In Rio we need to ensure this is repeated but try to get them activating earlier so that all parties involved feel the full benefits of working with elite Paralympic athletes and sports.
“The biggest growth area for Rio 2016 and the IPC to work on is in television. London 2012 was broadcast to more than 115 countries and territories, more than any other Games, and enjoyed record audiences. However, some of the biggest media territories largely ignored the Games.
“The only way we can fulfil our vision of our athletes inspiring and exciting the world is by ensuring the world’s biggest media outlets cover the Games.”
During Thursday’s debrief sessions the IPC revealed that London 2012 saw a 37 per cent growth in the cumulated international audience watching the Games outside of the host country.
According to IPC figures, produced by IFM Sports, a total cumulated audience of 3.40 billion watched London 2012 outside of the UK, where the host broadcaster Channel 4 also enjoyed record audiences.
This represents a cumulated growth of almost one billion as in 2008 in Beijing a cumulated international audience of 2.48 billion watched the Games outside of China.
Xavier Gonzalez, the IPC’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “It is a fantastic achievement that the worldwide cumulated TV audience, outside of the host country, has grown by almost one billion in the last four years, underlining the growing appeal of Paralympic Sport.
“Imagine the growth however if we get all countries around the world, especially those that can offer us the biggest audiences, to screen the Games from Rio.
“This figure could easily double if, for example, an American TV station showed the performances of the US athletes who finished sixth in the London medals table.
“In Great Britain, Channel 4 created a blueprint for how a commercial broadcaster can package and market the Paralympic Games to an audience with the support of commercial partners.”
Following the London 2012 debrief, the IPC will stage a one day Project Review with the Rio 2016 Organising Committee on Friday (23 November).
The Rio Paralympic Games will take place between 8-19 September 2016.