British Athletics has today received a further commercial boost with the signing of Channel 4 as broadcaster for its elite para athletics fixtures, starting this summer with the two events within the Sainsbury’s Summer Series.
The deal guarantees high profile, terrestrial coverage of the first ever Sainsbury’s IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final in Birmingham on 29 June - the first time the world’s top Paralympians and British favourites Hannah Cockroft (Jenni Banks), Jonnie Peacock (coach: Steve Fudge), David Weir (Jenny Archer) and Richard Whitehead (Keith Antoine) will be competing in the UK since last summer’s Paralympic Games.
Channel 4 will also broadcast live from the third day of the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, the Sainsbury’s International ParaChallenge where the best athletes will return to London to compete for their countries. Just as 2012 saw unprecedented packed stadiums so will the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games.
The broadcaster, who recently secured the rights to televise the Paralympics through to 2016 and will be televising this summer’s IPC World Championships in Lyon, received critical acclaim for its coverage of the 2012 Paralympic Games, as well as the ‘Best Sport and Live Event’ award at the recent BAFTAs. Channel 4’s coverage of the Paralympics broke viewing records for Paralympic sport – with coverage reaching almost 40 million people – three quarters of the UK population
British Athletics has become one of the sport’s global leaders over the last five years and finished in third on the medal table at last summer’s Paralympic Games with a stunning haul of 29 medals (11 gold.)
British Athletics’ Commercial Director and Paralympian Sophia Warner said:
“The 2012 Paralympic coverage marked a watershed moment for the sport. Channel 4 superbly showcased British Athletics’ Paralympians, and helped create some of the Britain’s biggest and brightest new sports stars.
“Major brands are now recognising that these athletes have a unique appeal to the British public”
Jamie Aitchison, Channel 4’s Sports Editor said: “Channel 4’s BAFTA award winning coverage of the 2012 Games brought Paralympic sport to a whole new audience in the UK and had a positive impact on attitudes towards disability sport. I’m delighted that we’re continuing the story with live coverage of the Sainsbury’s Grand Prix and Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games.”
Channel 4’s coverage of athletics this summer includes the following events:
Sainsbury’s IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final – Birmingham (29 June)
Sainsbury’s International Para Challenge (28 July)
The IPC Athletics World Championships, Lyon, France 19-28 July
Tickets for Sainsbury’s Grand Prix – Birmingham (29-30 June) are available here: http://www.britishathletics.org.uk/british-athletics-series/sainsburys-british-championships-birmingham/