The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is providing free-to-air coverage of the Tokyo 2021 Paralympics to more 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the President of IPC, Andrew Parsons, the move is a ‘’turning point’’ in the region.
The IPC has accepted to drop its rights fee so that they can have more exposure in an area that has mainly broadcasted only limited coverage of the Games.
TV Media Sport is collaborating with IPC and has secured broadcasters in 24 countries with an estimated reach of more than 150 million people.
Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, the Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, and Uganda have been confirmed for free-to-air coverage so far.
The broadcasts will be funded by the IPC and UK Aid.
For the first time across the African region, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies will be free-to-air and aired live on August 24 and September 5 in 2021.
The IPC will also provide a 52-minute daily Games highlight show of African-centred content, which will be available in English, French and Portuguese.
This initiative will probably boost the demand for commercial partners becoming involved in broadcasting Paris 2024 to sub-Saharan Africa.
Parsons further stated, “The IPC is very excited about the prospect of more people than ever before watching the Paralympic Games in sub-Saharan Africa. Through sport the IPC wants to normalize and challenge the stigma attached to disability. I truly believe that this could be a turning point for the region: the awareness that Tokyo 2020 will create could lead to more media, people and sponsors getting involved in Para sports, which in turn will create new opportunities for people with disabilities. We are going to show that change can start with sport.”