By Paul Osborne

The IPC has named its broadcast deals with major broadcasters for the 2014 and 2016 Paralympic Games as its top moment of 2013 ©Getty ImagesDecember 31 - The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has named the broadcast deals it made with a number of major firms as its top moments of 2013 due to the long-term benefits they could have on the Movement.

These agreements, highlighted by the major NBC announcement in the United States, along with Channel 4 in Great Britain, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) in European territories and a contingent of Canadian broadcast partners, are expected to have a significant positive impact on the future of the Games.

After showing minimal coverage of London 2012, NBC Olympics and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) partnered to acquire the US media rights to the next two Paralympics, with Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 set to receive an unprecedented 116 combined hours of coverage in the US.

"I think we were all very moved by London 2012, and by our experiences with Paralympians," said Gary Zenkel, President of NBC Olympics.

"I think what resonated so much about the Paralympics the last time around and in past Games is that the stories of these athletes are so inspirational, that we as storytellers wanted to be the ones to tell those stories in this country."

The deal will see NBC and NBC Sports Network combine to air 50 hours of television coverage from Sochi 2014 and 66 hours from Rio 2016, an increase of 60.5 hours on London 2012.

Following the success of last summer's Paralympics, Channel 4 took little time to snap up the chance to air coverage of Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016, fending off strong opposition to gain the media rights for the two Games in Britain.

Channel 4 will broadcast more than 45 hours from Sochi and 500 hours from Rio, and in the lead-up to the latter the broadcaster will also air major international Parasport events.

Channel 4's showing of the London 2012 Paralympic Games reached a record audience in the UK, with coverage reaching 69 per cent of the population ©Getty ImagesChannel 4's showing of the London 2012 Paralympic Games reached a record audience in the UK, with coverage reaching 69 per cent of the population ©Getty Images

It's coverage of London 2012 broke UK viewing records for Paralympic sport, reaching 69 per cent of the population.

The EBU, in partnership with Eurovision and the IPC, announced a multiple-service partnership covering the media rights on all platforms for Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016.

The EBU will exploit the media rights for all its territories, excluding Russia for Sochi 2014 and Britain for both Games, with 27 members already having committed to showing Rio 2016.

Finally, in November, with 100 days to go until Sochi 2014, the Canadian Paralympic Committee unveiled unprecedented media plans for the most comprehensive coverage ever offered in the country for a Paralympic Games.

A broadcast consortium, headed by the National Paralympic Committee, and including Radio-Canada, Sportsnet, Accessible Media Inc and Yahoo Canada Sports, will deliver more than 65 hours of broadcast and up to 350 hours of digital streaming of Sochi 2014 for Paralympic fans across the nation.

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November 2013: Exclusive - New NBC deal will help raise awareness of Paralympics, claims US chief
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October 2013: NBC Universal to launch major promotional campaign for Sochi 2014
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