By Paul Osborne

The IPC have awarded NHK the exclusive host broadcasting rights in Japan for the Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 Paralympics ©IPCJanuary 9 - Japan's public broadcaster NHK has signed an exclusive agreement with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to secure the broadcast rights for Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016.

Under the agreement, NHK will broadcast more than 29 hours of coverage of March's Sochi Winter Games and over 46 hours of Rio 2016 via its free-to-air terrestrial television channels in Japan, General TV and Educational TV.

Live coverage of the Opening Ceremony in Sochi on March 7 will also be available through its terrestrial service, as will daily 30-minute highlight programmes throughout the duration of the Games, with this being extended to one hour per day during Rio 2016.

NHK has also sub-licensed some rights to SKY Perfect JSAT, a subscription based satellite channel, who, for Sochi 2014 will create a free-to-air 24-hour Paralympic channel which will show more than 200 hours of coverage, made up of 70 hours of live coverage, highlights and pre-recorded programmes.

"We are looking forward to have the opportunity to work alongside the IPC to deliver the excitement of the Games," said Masayuki Higuchi, head of NHK Sports.

"As a public broadcaster we feel the responsibility in bringing the positive influence towards disability sports.

"We will strongly commit to push forward the Paralympic Movement in Japan that will lead to the success of Tokyo 2020."

NHK will broadcast more than 29 hours of coverage from the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympic Games ©Sochi 2014NHK will broadcast more than 29 hours of coverage from the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympic Games ©Sochi 2014

The agreement also offers NHK the opportunity to broadcast various World Championships staged by IPC sports, including athletics, swimming, alpine skiing, Nordic skiing and ice sledge hockey, between now and December 31, 2016.

"We are absolutely delighted to extend our long-term and extremely strong partnership with NHK for a further four years," IPC President Sir Philip Craven said.

"With Tokyo 2020 on the horizon, it is vitally important that we continue to raise awareness of the Paralympic brand in Japan not just during the Paralympic Games, but all year round.

"This deal, which makes NHK the 'official Paralympic broadcaster' in Japan, will go a long way in helping us to achieve this.

"The deal means more Paralympic coverage than ever before in Japan and far greater promotion in advance of the Games.

"It provides the perfect platform for us to build upon in the years leading up to Tokyo 2020."

The agreement is the latest in a host of major broadcast contracts secured by the IPC in recent months following agreements last year with NBC in the United States, Channel 4 in the United Kingdom, the European Broadcasting Union in European territories and a contingent of Canadian broadcast partners. 

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