By Tom Degun

abrahamOctober 2 - David Abraham, the chief executive of Channel 4, has revealed that the broadcaster is looking to secure the rights for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games after its hugely successful coverage of London 2012.

Channel 4 produced a major shock in January 2010 when it was awarded the broadcast rights for the London 2012 Paralympics ahead of the BBC, which had shown every Games since Arnhem 1980.

Nonetheless, Channel 4's coverage of London 2012 proved a major hit as it reached 39.9 million people – over 69 per cent of the United Kingdom population.

The coverage peaked with the Paralympic Opening Ceremony on August 29, which was watched by 11.2 million to give Channel 4 its biggest audience in over 10 years.

The BBC is also thought to be lining up a bid to snatch back the rights for the Rio 2016 Paralympics but Abraham (pictured top) appears in confident mood of securing a new deal with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

Jonnie Peacock_02-10-12The victory of Britain's Jonnie Peacock (centre) in the 100 metres T44 final on September 6 attracted a peak audience of 6.3 million viewers – the biggest UK audience for live Paralympic sport ever

"International television rights are managed by the IPC and we obviously have a very good relationship with them," Abraham said.

"We are talking to them about how we plan Rio, and how we go about doing that.

"Rio is an amazing brand and the time difference is not as challenging as Beijing."

Channel 4's winning bid for the London 2012 Paralympics is thought to be worth over £8 million ($13 million/€10 million), although it is expected a far smaller offer will secure the Rio 2016 Paralympics given that they are abroad.

But even though the BBC is likely come back with a big offer, Abraham is unfazed.

"We are not getting distracted by that [a potential BBC bid]," said Abraham.

"We are very confident we have great ideas.

"We have great presenters so everything is in place.

"We demonstrated quite well in this instance the degree to which two separate organisations [Channel 4 and the BBC] can focus resources to deliver two great events."

Abraham added that should the Channel 4 bid be successful, he is hopeful of retaining the majority of the London 2012 presenting team that was spearheaded by Clare Balding, who was highly praised for her work on both the BBC and Channel 4.

Clare-BaldingClare Balding was widely praised for her work with both the BBC on the Olympics and Channel 4 on the Paralympics

"Clare is the face of our racing, so you know she is going to be working for us [in 2016]," he said.

"Everything is in place but we are four years out, no one gets a contract for that long.

"I am very positive about reassembling the team; there was a lot of good chemistry."

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