Channel 4 to double live Paralympics coverage for Tokyo 2021

Channel 4's live coverage of the Tokyo Paralympics will more than double in airtime compared to Rio 2016, the broadcaster confirmed as it announced a new presenting line-up and "multi-location studios".

There will be over 300 hours of coverage, Channel 4 announced today, all of which will be live apart from a daily one-hour highlights show and special episodes of comedy panel show The Last Leg, which are also one hour per day.

Channel 4 has also committed to 70% its presenting team for the Games being disabled, while More 4 will be a dedicated sports channel for the duration of the global event, which begins on 24 August and ends on 5 September.

The coverage will be produced by Whisper and sponsored by Toyota, while Open Mike is producing The Last Leg.

However, Channel 4 said it was not yet ready to comment on the number of disabled staff involved on its production teams for the games. For the Rio 2016 Games, it said 15% of people from its then production partner Sunset+Vine were disabled.

Channel 4 has multi-platform broadcast rights to televise the event in the UK and, for the first time this year,  will run 16 live streams on its Paralympics Microsite, showing over 1,000 hours – up from 700 hours it pledged to stream online in 2016.

Clare Balding will present live sport finals from Channel 4's headquarters in Leeds each morning, while Arthur Williams and Steph McGovern will head up a daily Paralympics Breakfast Show from the same location. Ade Adepitan will helm the Highlights show from Tokyo.

Adam Hills, Alex Brooker and Josh Widdicombe will present The Last Leg daily from London and will be joined by Rosie Jones reporting from Tokyo.

Channel 4’s director of programmes Ian Katz said: “Channel 4 has long played a fundamental role in bringing a global audience to the Paralympic Games and for shifting perceptions of disabled people through our significant investment in coverage and award-winning marketing campaigns for London 2012 and Rio 2016.

“Now we’re finally able to get excited about bringing the long-awaited Tokyo 2020 Paralympics to UK viewers with even more coverage than ever before across multiple platforms, from multiple locations and hosted by a stellar presenting team."

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