In January of this year, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has awarded the exclusive host broadcast rights in Japan for the Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 to Japan’s only public broadcaster NHK.
Under the terms of the agreement NHK, who have a long history of screening the Paralympic Games in Japan would apparently broadcast over 29 hours of coverage from March’s Winter Paralympics in Sochi and 46 hours from Rio 2016 on 2 free-to-air terrestrial TV channels. (General TV and Educational TV)
In addition, for the first time ever in winter games NHK will show live coverage of the Opening Ceremony at their terrestrial TV channel and will screen daily 30 minute long highlights programmes during the Sochi Winter Paralympics. For Rio 2016, the highlights show will be extended to one hour each day of competition.
NHK also has the option to broadcast World Championship staged by IPC sports including athletics, swimming, alpine skiing, Nordic skiing and ice sledge hockey between now and 31 December 2016 and other para-sport events.
Sir Philip Craven, IPC President, said: “We are absolutely delighted to extend our long-term and extremely strong partnership with NHK for a further four years.
“With Tokyo2020 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.”
Now fast forward to March 14th, the Paralympics end on the 16th. Now the Paralympics has been shown a little, but given that NHK is the sole producer of all footage, very little has in fact been shown on NHK. Japan has a Paralympic team, they aren’t proud of them?
This absence does not bode well for Tokyo 2020. I’m sure Japan will pull a good show together, but if they are to produce the best Paralympics ever, they need to bring the resources of ‘Cool Japan’ down on the Paralympics now, not later. Interviews with Japanese paralympians, perhaps alongside members of AKB48 would be a good way to create exposure.
Tokyo 2020 will of course be great, but you have to work to ensure that it is the best.