The 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and the 2016 Paralympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will receive 116 combined hours of coverage in the United States on NBC and NBCSN—the largest U.S. television coverage the event has ever received—according to a deal announced by the International Paralympic Committee.
NBC Olympics and the U.S. Olympic Committee partnered to acquire the television rights to the games, and will air 50 hours of coverage from the Sochi Games in March, starting with the March 7 Opening Ceremony. It will be followed by daily coverage of all five Paralympic sports in the Sochi program, before the Games’ Closing Ceremony is broadcast on March 16.
In September 2016, NBC and NBCSN will air 66 hours of coverage from the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, an increase of 60.5 hours from the coverage of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The 2016 Games are set to be the largest in history with more than 4,300 athletes competing in 22 sports, and aim to build on the success of London 2012, which were broadcast to a global cumulated audience of 3.8 billion in 115 countries.
In addition to the U.S. television coverage, the USOC will provide live online coverage of both the Sochi and Rio Paralympic Games at TeamUSA.org.
“We are absolutely delighted to announce this two-Games agreement with NBC and the USOC as it provides more airtime of the Paralympics than ever before in the U.S.,” said Sir Phillip Craven, president of the International Paralympic Committee. “Following the success of London 2012, we said it was absolutely essential for the growth of the Paralympic Movement and the Paralympic Games that in future years U.S. audiences had a greater opportunity to watch some of the world’s best elite athletes in action. This is tremendous news for sports fans, too, many of which will be able to watch a Paralympic Games live for the first time.”
“With the support of the IPC, USOC and leading corporate sponsors, we are thrilled to provide an unprecedented level of coverage for the Paralympic Games from both Sochi and Rio,” said Gary Zenkel, president of NBC Olympics. “We look forward to telling the inspiring stories of the athletes and capturing the compelling competition across NBC and NBCSN.”
NBCSN will broadcast 46.5 hours of competition from Sochi while NBC will air an additional 3.5 hours of coverage. The programming will feature Paralympic competition in alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, ice sledge hockey, wheelchair curling and the new discipline of para-snowboard.
The deal also marks the first time the broadcast has been exclusively sold to USOC sponsors. BMW, BP, Citi, Liberty Mutual and Procter & Gamble will all contribute to the coverage. “As a proud supporter of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams, we are delighted to partner with NBC and the U.S. Olympic Committee on this groundbreaking broadcast event,” said Dermot Boden, Citi’s global chief brand officer.