The British broadcaster is aiming to build on its acclaimed coverage of London 2012 that broke UK viewing records for Paralympic sport, reaching 69% of the population.
The deal gives Channel 4 the multi-platform broadcast rights within the UK for the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil following a competitive tendering process.
As part of the agreement it will also screen over 45 hours of the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia in 2014 - the most ever by a British broadcaster.
This is the first time the IPC has agreed a two Games deal - IPC President Sir Philip Craven
In the lead-up to Rio 2016, the broadcaster will also show coverage of major international para-sport events like July’s IPC Athletics World Championships from Lyon, France and August’s IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal, Canada.
As part of their round-the-clock coverage of Rio 2016, Channel 4 will build on the three live streams of coverage it offered for London 2012 on digital platforms and will broadcast a total of over 500 hours from Brazil.
Channel 4’s portfolio will include live coverage, highlights and the return of The Last Leg, which was a huge hit with viewers in 2012.
IPC president Sir Philip Craven said: “We are delighted to extend our partnership with Channel 4 following its stunning success in covering the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
“Channel 4 created a blueprint for how a commercial broadcaster can raise the profile of Paralympic sport and its athletes to new levels.
“They have promised to build on this fantastic work over the next four years. This is the first time the IPC has agreed a two Games deal with a TV station.”
Their dedication and passion for the Paralympics is clear for all to see - Tim Hollingsworth, BPA
David Abraham, Channel 4’s chief executive, said: “The London 2012 Paralympic Games was a landmark moment in the history of broadcasting Paralympic sport.
"Not only did Channel 4’s coverage reach record audiences but, more importantly, it had a meaningful and positive impact on UK attitudes to disability and disability sport in general.
"I’m delighted that we have the opportunity to build on this achievement over the next four years.”
Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of the British Paralympic Association, said: “Our thanks go to the IPC for working hard on securing this and our congratulations to Channel 4 for winning the rights against stiff competition.
"Their dedication and passion for the Paralympics is clear for all to see.”
In the lead up to the 2012 Games, Channel 4 identified and trained 10 new presenters and reporters with disabilities who played major roles across the coverage and the broadcaster expects that a number of that team will again be part of a presenting line-up.
Channel 4 has also committed to:
- creating a major theatrical documentary, supported by Film 4 Productions
- continuing its award-winning marketing campaigns over the next four years
- employing an international ambassador for Paralympic media, who can offer a consultancy service to broadcasters of Paralympic sport in developing countries