Channel 4 has secured broadcasting rights in the United Kingdom for the 2024 Paralympic Games after being praised for creating "seismic shifts" in attitudes towards people with a disability.
The broadcaster clinched the deal following its acclaimed coverage of London 2012 and Rio 2016 which broke UK viewing figures for Paralympic sport.
Between 2012 and 2016 Channel 4 is understood to have showcased more hours of Paralympic sport than any other broadcaster in history.
International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Andrew Parsons said Channel 4 had "created a blueprint" for how a commercial broadcaster can raise the profile of Paralympic sport and its athletes to new levels.
"They have reached record audiences, in particular young people, identified and developed some fantastic new presenting talent and played a significant role in delivering seismic shifts in attitudes and perceptions towards people with an impairment in the UK," Parsons said.
With exactly four years to go until the Opening Ceremony, Channel 4 has today been awarded the UK television rights to the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. #Paris2024 #WaitForTheGreats #ImpossibleToIgnore ? pic.twitter.com/glZmaMCTmn— Channel 4 (@Channel4) August 28, 2020
"They have committed to build on this fantastic work over the next four years and continue to innovate within Paralympic broadcasting and we look forward to working with them as they help contribute to the IPC’s vision of enabling Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence to inspire and excite the world."
Channel 4’s award-winning 2016 Superhumans campaign is understood to have reached 48 million people around the world, making it the most shared campaign globally of any Olympic and Paralympic partner.
Mike Sharrock, chief executive of the British Paralympic Association, believes Channel 4 "challenges the barriers that exist" and helps to create role models.
"I’m thrilled that Channel 4 will continue to pave the way in progressive coverage of Paralympic sport here in the UK by retaining the broadcast rights for the Paralympic Games in Paris 2024," Sharrock said.
"The British public now experience Paralympic sport in a way which was unheard of before the London 2012 Paralympic Games- the first Games that Channel 4 broadcast.
"Channel 4 has taken the Paralympics to their heart and transformed themselves as a broadcaster in the process.
"Athletes have become household names and sports have been profiled but also the increase in the number of disabled people involved as presenters, production teams, marketing, recruitment and Channel 4 staff have all made significant impact in every aspect of Channel 4’s approach."
Alex Mahon, chief executive at Channel 4, revealed they would have a "new innovative approach" to Tokyo 2020 and were looking forward to building on their coverage.
"The Paralympic Games is at the heart of what we do at Channel 4 and we are proud to have been the Paralympic broadcaster since London 2012," Mahon said.
"We truly believe in the transformative power of sport and have been using the Paralympics to inspire change in attitudes towards disability in the UK since 2012.
"We believe with passion that the Paralympic Games can enrapture audiences, with high quality, dramatic, elite sport, and also drive social change in the perceptions of disability. There is nothing else quite like it.
"The decision to award Channel 4 the rights to Paris 2024 enables us to continue to broadcast ground-breaking and innovative coverage of the Paralympics, continue to build athlete profiles and to further cement the careers of our presenters."
For the first time in the history of the Games, Paris 2024 features a single emblem, reflecting its desire to place the Paralympic Games and the Olympic Games at the same level.
Paris 2024 will showcase Para-athletes’ performances in some of the most iconic venues in the French capital, including wheelchair fencing in the Grand Palais, blind football in front of the Eiffel Tower and para-equestrian in the Palace of Versailles.
Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet added: "Together with Channel 4, Paris 2024 will aim to further build excitement around the Paralympics, to shine a spotlight on the exceptional performances of the athletes, and to illustrate how sport can change lives and engage the next generation to be part of the Games."