“Without doubt Tokyo 2020 will have the best, most complete and in-depth TV coverage yet for a Paralympic Games. In addition to more live TV coverage, we are also investing into delivering far greater short form content for broadcasters to use in the form of highlights, athletes features and profiles."
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has announced that a further five sports will be broadcast live from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, bringing the total number to a record 21 disciplines from 19 sports.
At the Rio 2016 Paralympics, 12 disciplines from 12 sports were broadcast live. However, now thanks to greater support from broadcasters, the IPC, Tokyo 2020 and Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), more sports than ever before will be shown live, with worldwide audiences enjoying action from all 22 sports.
For the first time at a Paralympics, viewers will be able to watch live canoe, equestrian and rowing, as well as part of the archery and shooting competitions.
These sports will be broadcast live alongside the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, athletics, badminton, boccia, cycling (road and track), football 5-a-side, goalball, judo, sitting volleyball, swimming, table tennis, triathlon, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis. Non-live Electronic News Gathering (ENG) highlights will be provided for powerlifting, taekwondo and wheelchair fencing.
Alexis Schaefer, the IPC’s Commercial, Broadcasting and Partnerships Director, said: “Thanks to the growing interest and investment from broadcasters around the world to screen the Paralympic Games we have been able to significantly increase the number of sports to be broadcast live for Tokyo 2020.
“Our strategy throughout has been to invest all additional revenues generated from TV rights sales back in to the broadcasting plan for Tokyo 2020. This is allowing us to broadcast live nine disciplines and seven sports more compared to Rio 2016, a huge leap forward which will benefit broadcasters and the whole Paralympic Movement.
“Without doubt Tokyo 2020 will have the best, most complete and in-depth TV coverage yet for a Paralympic Games. In addition to more live TV coverage, we are also investing into delivering far greater short form content for broadcasters to use in the form of highlights, athletes features and profiles. With such comprehensive coverage in place we are very confident that viewing figures will exceed the record cumulative audience of 4.1 billion people that enjoyed the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.”
“OBS is pleased to deliver extensive broadcast coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and bring even more outstanding, inspirational performances and stories of the Paralympic athletes to millions of viewers around the world,” Yiannis Exarchos, OBS Chief Executive Officer, said. “Not only will we be offering more live coverage, but we will also provide supplementary short-form content for the broadcasters to use across all platforms - linear television, digital and social media. The Paralympics are a powerful communication platform, and we are confident that Tokyo 2020 will prove another success story in terms of global reach and exposure, across all broadcast platforms, building on past successes and our longstanding relationship with the Paralympic Movement.”
"The International Canoe Federation (ICF) is delighted the Para canoe events will be shown live during next year's Paralympic Games in Tokyo," said ICF President Jose Perurena.
"It is great news not just for the sport, but for the athletes, the officials, the coaches and the volunteers who have worked so hard to make Para canoe the success that it has been at the Paralympics. Our debut at Rio 2016 was a tremendous moment for our sport, and since then we have grown considerably, with three new events added to the program for 2020.
"This is a great reflection on the popularity of Para canoe, and we are grateful to the IPC, OBS and Paralympic sponsors for the faith they are showing in us. We are confident television audiences will love watching the best male and female Para canoe athletes in action and will be inspired by their stories."
FISA Executive Director Matt Smith said: “FISA welcomes the news that rowing at the Paralympic Games will be broadcast live for the first time.
“FISA is proud to say that Para rowing is fully integrated into the World Rowing Championships and has been included in the broadcast of the World Championships for many years. As a sports federation we want to acknowledge the work of the IPC, Tokyo 2020 and the Olympic Broadcasting Services in making the live broadcast come together. The Tokyo Paralympic Games is bound to be a huge success.”
Gary Zenkel, President of NBC Olympics, said: “What an incredible privilege it is for NBC Olympics to cover the Paralympics, and tell the stories of its amazing athletes. The IPC’s continued commitment to expand both the Paralympic programme and the live host broadcast supports NBC Olympics’ ambition to increase the scope and breadth of our coverage of this truly remarkable event.”
The IPC surveyed many Rights-Holding Broadcasters after Rio 2016 to gauge which additional sports they wanted to broadcast. With a priority list established the IPC worked with Tokyo 2020 and OBS, to increase the scope of broadcasting for the Games.
The Rio 2016 Paralympics broke all broadcasting records. The Games were covered by television, radio and online outlets in a record 154 countries and were watched by a record cumulative TV audience of 4.1 billion people.
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will take place between 25 August and 6 September.