Broadcasting giant NBC Sports Group will show more than 40 hours of live coverage of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships A-Pool in Buffalo, New York, it has been announced.
The deal means an unprecedented amount of coverage of the event, due to take place from April 26 to May 3, will be shown.
NBC Sports Network will broadcast the United States’ preliminary round contest with Italy on April 29, as well as one of the two semi-finals and the gold medal match on the final day of competition.
As well as television coverage, NBC Sports Live Extra - a digital service which can be viewed on mobile devices, tablets and laptops - will provide streaming coverage of all 20 matches at the A-Pool event.
“Following the unprecedented live coverage of the final between Russia and the USA during Sochi 2014, we are delighted to be working with NBC Sports Group again to bring ice sledge hockey to fans in one of its most prolific territories,” IPC chief executive Xavier Gonzalez said.
“The sport has gained huge popularity in the United States and worldwide in the last 12 months, and this agreement shows that major broadcasters are continuing to recognise the value and demand for Para-sport, as well as representing a fantastic opportunity for new partners for Buffalo 2015.”
The sport of ice sledge hockey has enjoyed a rapid growth in profile recently, culminating in a fascinating final at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014 between the United States and Russia, which the American side edged 1-0 and the contest was broadcast live on NBC.
They will be looking to build on that momentous victory on home ice at the IPC Sledge Hockey World Championships A-Pool event and the two sides do battle on the opening day of the competition, a match that will be shown live on NBC Sports Live Extra.
“We are thrilled to continue to work closely with the IPC to bring Paralympic sport to the US audience,” NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel added.
“Team USA’s victory over Russia in the gold-medal final was one of the great stories of the Sochi Paralympic Games, and we’re excited to showcase sled hockey to a national audience once again.”
September 2014: IPC Ice Sledge Hockey launches new-look websites ahead of Buffalo 2015 World Championships
May 2014: United States awarded 2015 Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships