By Tom Degun

brazil paralympicsFebruary 28 - The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has agreed a major deal with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) that covers media rights on all platforms for major disability events, including Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016.

The new deal will see the EBU, operators of Eurovision, exploit the media rights for its territories for next year's Winter Paralympics, the 2016 Summer Paralympics and other IPC Championships.

The only European territories excluded in the deal are the United Kingdom, with Channel 4 having secured exclusive broadcast rights in Britain for Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016, and Russia for Sochi 2014 only.

Already, 27 EBU members have committed to showing the Rio 2016 Paralympics, which is an unprecedented number so far in advance of any Games.

"This agreement is a major statement of intent about the growth of the Paralympic Movement and the growing appeal of the Paralympic Games," said IPC President Sir Philip Craven.

"London 2012 was broadcast to over 100 countries reaching a cumulative global television audience of 3.8 billion, all of whom I am sure were left inspired and excited by what they saw.

"To have secured so many territories through the EBU for Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 so far out from both Games is fantastic news and I'd like to personally thank both Organising Committees for their support."

The deal will also see Eurovision provide the IPC with extra services such as production, distribution and on-site activities to enhance the coverage of events.

Sir Philip Craven Rio 2016Sir Philip Craven welcomed the news that the EBU will be covering media rights for the Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

"The Paralympic Movement – like public service broadcasting – is about inclusivity and universality," said EBU director general Ingrid Deltenre.

"Sport reaches more people through the free-to-air channels of our members, so the EBU and the IPC are ideal partners, given our respective values and missions.

"We are proud to be the IPC's broadcast partner and the EBU relishes the chance to help in the growing success of the Paralympic Movement."

Both Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 also welcomed the announcement.

"The deal between the IPC and EBU marks an important event for the further promotion of the Paralympic Movement," said Sochi 2014 President and chief executive Dmitry Chernyshenko.

"Millions of TV spectators throughout Europe will be able to follow the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi and plunge into the vibrant atmosphere of this truly exciting competition."

Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman was equally excited.

"We are thrilled to have secured Europe-wide coverage so early on in our preparations to deliver excellent and memorable Paralympic Games in Rio 2016," he said.

"This will provide us with a network of broadcasters with which we can already start working on a variety of fronts, from perfecting our operational plans to showcasing the transformation the Games are bringing to Rio and Brazil.

"The IPC has been doing an excellent job in raising the profile of the Paralympic Movement and its athletes and we can only benefit from this work.

"We welcome the EBU Members and Eurovision in our journey for the years building up to Rio 2016 and are looking forward to collaborating with them to make our Games an unforgettable experience for their viewers."

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February 2013: Channel 4 wins Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 Paralympic broadcasting contracts