By Duncan Mackay

Channel 4 logoFebruary 9 - Tim Hollingsworth, chief executive of the British Paralympic Association (BPA), has hailed the decision to award Channel 4 the broadcasting rights to Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 in a £7 million ($11 million/€8 million) deal.

Channel 4 were awarded the rights by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) ahead of the BBC after promising to give record coverage for both Games.

"Whilst this is clearly huge news for the Paralympic Movement internationally, as it shows other broadcasters around the world that there is a real market for Paralympic sport, for us in the UK it demonstrates that 2012 really was a ground breaking year," said Hollngsworth.

"The Paralympic Movement in our country has never been stronger and we've always said we wanted 2012 to be a launch pad to developing it further.

"So to have our broadcaster in place so far ahead of the next two Paralympic Games and with a commitment to cover events in the build up to them is a fantastic place to be."

Tim Hollingswoth with Kate Middleton London 2012BPA chief executive Tim Hollingsworth, pictured here with the Duchess of Cambridge, claims that the new Channel 4 deal "demonstrates that 2012 really was a ground breaking year"

The deal, which was announced last night, includes multi-platform broadcast rights within the UK and will see the broadcaster build on its coverage of London 2012, which reached 69 per cent of the population and broke viewing records for Paralympic sport.

The deal also includes a commitment to broadcast other major IPC events, like the World Athletics Championships in Lyon and the World Swimming Championships in Montreal. 

The agreement also includes the creation a major theatrical documentary, supported by Film 4 Production, and the employment of an international ambassador for Paralympic media, who will offer a free consultancy service to broadcasters of disability sport in developing countries.

"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," said Hollingsworth.

"Their dedication and passion for the Paralympics is clear for all to see and we look forward to working with them over the next four years to carry on the job that we have started so successfully in London 2012."

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