Press release: IPC–led partnership secures a record breaking 49 territories for free-to-air African broadcast coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

Global Disability Innovation Hub, Loughborough University
Aug. 19, 2021
Africa

IPC–led partnership secures a record breaking 49 territories for free-to-air African broadcast coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

  • Broadcast initiative is a key element of the GDI Hub led AT 2030 programme’s Para Sport Against Stigma project, a collaboration between GDI Hub IPC, Loughborough University, and the University of Malawi, Chancellor College, and which is funded by UK Aid.
  • The power of Paralympic sport will reach over 250 million viewers in efforts to end disability stigma and promote human rights for people with disabilities across Africa.
  • Impact of the broadcast in increasing understanding about disability to be researched - will inform the approach for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has confirmed that it will provide free-to-air coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games to 49 Sub-Saharan African territories as part of the AT2030 programme’s Para Sport Against Stigma project, which is funded by UK Aid.  This is an effort to elevate Para sport and ensure human rights for people with disabilities around the world.  Globally, there are 1.2 billion people with disabilities who are often unable to reach their full potential. Central to this is disability stigma, which limits full participation in society from employment and education to sport.  

For the first time African viewers will watch the opening and closing ceremonies broadcast live on 24 August and 5 September 2021.  Daily 52-minute highlights packages of African centred content featuring the continent’s biggest Paralympic heroes and rising stars, will be provided in English, French and Portuguese. It is estimated that the broadcasts will reach over 250 million viewers in Africa.

TV Media Sport (TVMS) will produce this content and has also worked on behalf of the IPC to secure the Sub-Saharan broadcasters. The free-to-air broadcasting will be available in the following 49 territories: Angola; Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cameroon; Cape Verde; Central African Republic; Chad; Comoros; Congo; Democratic Republic of Congo; Djibouti; Equatorial Guinea; Eritrea; Eswatini (Ex Swaziland); Ethiopia; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea Bissau; Ivory Coast; Kenya; Lesotho; Liberia; Madagascar; Malawi; Mali; Mauritius; Mozambique; Namibia; Niger; Nigeria; Rwanda; Sao Tome; Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; Senegal; Seychelles; Sierra Leone; Somalia; South Africa; South Sudan; Sudan; Tanzania; Togo; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe.  [The full list of broadcasters taking the feeds is in Notes to Editors].

The coverage is part of the UK Aid funded AT2030 programme.  A £40 million initiative to test ‘what works’ to improve access to assistive technology for those that need it around the world – some 900m people.  AT2030’s Para Sport Against Stigma project is a four-year initiative implementing and studying Para sport as a platform for challenging disability stigma across Africa.  This new innovative approach is led by Loughborough University London, IPC and University of Malawi, Chancellor College with support from the global law firm Hogan Lovells, who assisted with the negotiation of the licences and offered support to the National Paralympic Committees with the procedural requirements for athlete qualification. 

Focussed research is taking place in Malawi on the Paralympic Games broadcasting coverage and local media practices and understandings of disability.  This will inform future production and distribution decisions leading into the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

IPC President Andrew Parsons said: “One of the strategic goals of the IPC is to grow the global audience for the Paralympics. Increasing broadcast availability is central to that. I am thrilled that since we announced this initiative back in December last year, we have more than doubled the number of African broadcasters taking the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games from 24 to 49.

“For many reasons these are our most important Games ever. One of them is that for millions of people in Africa this will be the first time they will have seen Paralympic sport. Watching our athletes battle for medals and raise the bar in terms of elite Para sport will help normalise and challenge the stigma that too often is attached to disability.”

Emmanuel Nii Tettey Oku is a Para powerlifter competing for Ghana at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.  He said: “During the Olympics I saw some of my least athletic friends post and share highlights and commentary about the Games.  This was not only about the sport but also the different discussions surrounding the Games like trending topics on Simone Biles. I thought it was interesting how trending topics and visibility can cause people to talk about things that they would otherwise overlook.

“So, for me broadcasting the Games and its highlights is an opportunity to make Para sport trend enough for people to talk about it and this will help fight disability stigma here in Ghana and Africa.  I think broadcasting the Games and coverage can help raise awareness of Para Sport and help Para athletes to tell our stories and showcase our achievements.”

Professor Jo Tacchi is Loughborough University’s Lead Investigator on this project. She said: “We are privileged to play such a critical role researching the role of the Paralympic broadcasting in Africa in partnership with the University of Malawi.  In the next weeks, we’ll be examining broadcast production, audience perceptions and community engagement around the broadcasts in Malawian communities with the aim of informing planning for Paris 2024.   The project is part of Loughborough University’s commitment to developing Para sport and promoting inclusion for people with disabilities in the UK and around the world.”

Vicki Austin, CEO of the Global Disability Innovation Hub, which leads the AT2030 project, added: “This project shows the power of partnership and how to turn a moment of inspiration into real world impact. Although this idea began at GDI Hub, working together with Loughborough, IPC, TVMS, Hogan Lovells, University of Malawi and others, we have been able to far exceed even our own ambitions, bringing the power of the Paralympic Games to millions more people.

“We know from London 2012 that hearts and minds can shift because of the power of the sport, and in the case of access to Assistive Technology – like hearing aids, communication devices and eyeglasses – overcoming stigma is vital to ensuring every one of the 1.2 billion disabled people globally have access to the AT they need and are able to realise their UNCRPD enshrined human rights.  It is with huge thanks to UK Aid, who funded this important work, proving that together, we can bring Tokyo 2020 to Africa in 2021, and create positive change for disabled people for many years to come.”

TVMS President Hédi Hamel, said: “We are delighted for the IPC to have chosen TVMS to secure the free-to-air broadcast all over the continent and to distribute valuable live and daily highlights with editorial relevance for Africa. All of our broadcast partners have responded more than positively to be associated with the Para Sport against Stigma project. The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will receive unprecedented free exposure in Africa.”

 

Notes to Editors

About the International Paralympic Committee

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. Its vision is to make for an inclusive society through Para sport.  Founded on 22 September 1989, the IPC is an international non-profit organisation with more than 200 members made up of National Paralympic Committees, International Federations, Regional Organisations and International Organisations of Sport for the Disabled. The IPC Headquarters and its management team are located in Bonn, Germany.

For further information, please contact Philip Dorward, IPC Head of Communications on e-mail: philip.dorward@paralympic.org. Alternatively, please visit www.paralympic.org.

About Para Sport Against Stigma

Para Sport Against Stigma is an innovative four-year project examining Para sport as a platform to challenge disability stigma in Sub Saharan Africa. Led by Loughborough University in collaboration with IPC and University of Malawi Chancellor College, it is part of AT2030, a programme funded by UK Aid and led by the Global Disability Innovation Hub. AT2030 will test ‘what works’ to improve access to Assistive Technology.  

For further information, please contact Jennifer Wong, project manager on e-mail: j.wong@lboro.ac.uk. Alternatively, please visit www.paralympic.org.

 

Full list of broadcasters offering free-to-air coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games:

Territory

Broadcaster

Angola

Televisão Pública de Angola (TPA)

TV5 Monde Afrique

Benin

Office de Radiodiffusion et Télévision du Bénin (ORTB)

TV5 Monde Afrique

Botswana

Botswana Television (BTV)

TV5 Monde Afrique

Burkina Faso

Radiodiffusion Télévision du Burkina (RTB)

TV5 Monde Afrique

Burundi

Burundi National Radio and Television (RTNB)

TV5 Monde Afrique

Cameroon

Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV)

TV5 Monde Afrique

Cape Verde

Rádiotelevisão Caboverdiana (RTC)

TV5 Monde Afrique

Central African Republic

TV5 Monde Afrique

Chad

TV5 Monde Afrique

Comoros

Office de Radio et Télévision des Comores (ORTC)

TV5 Monde Afrique

Congo

TV5 Monde Afrique

Democratic Republic of Congo

Radio Télévision nationale congolaise (RTNC)

TV5 Monde Afrique

Djibouti

TV5 Monde Afrique

Equatorial Guinea

TV5 Monde Afrique

Eritrea

TV5 Monde Afrique

Eswatini (Ex Swaziland)

ESWATINI TV

TV5 Monde Afrique

Ethiopia

TV5 Monde Afrique

Gabon

GABON TELEVISIONS

TV5 Monde Afrique

Gambia

TV5 Monde Afrique

Ghana

Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC)

TV5 Monde Afrique

Guinea

TV5 Monde Afrique

Guinea Bissau

TV5 Monde Afrique

Ivory Coast

Radiodiffusion Television Ivoirienne (RTI)

TV5 Monde Afrique

Kenya

Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC)

TV5 Monde Afrique

Lesotho

Lesotho National Broadcasting Service (LNSB)

TV5 Monde Afrique

Liberia

TV5 Monde Afrique

Madagascar

Office de la Radio et de la Télévision publique de Madagascar (ORTM)

TV5 Monde Afrique

Malawi

Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC)

TV5 Monde Afrique

Mali

Office de Radio et Télévision du Mali (ORTM)

TV5 Monde Afrique

Mauritius

Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation (MBC)

TV5 Monde Afrique

Mozambique

Televisão de Moçambique (TVM)

TV5 Monde Afrique

Namibia

Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC)

TV5 Monde Afrique

Niger

Office de Radiodiffusion Télévision du Niger

TV5 Monde Afrique

Nigeria

Nigerian Television Authority (NTA)

TV5 Monde Afrique

Rwanda

TV5 Monde Afrique

Sao Tome

TV5 Monde Afrique

Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

TV5 Monde Afrique

Senegal

Groupe Futurs Médias (GFM)

TV5 Monde Afrique

Seychelles

Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation (SBC)

TV5 Monde Afrique

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC)

TV5 Monde Afrique

Somalia

TV5 Monde Afrique

South Africa*

TV5 Monde Afrique

South Sudan

TV5 Monde Afrique

Sudan

TV5 Monde Afrique

Tanzania

AZAM

TV5 Monde Afrique

Togo

Television Togolaise (TVT)

TV5 Monde Afrique

Uganda

Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC)

TV5 Monde Afrique

Zambia

TV5 Monde Afrique

Zimbabwe

ZTN

TV5 Monde Afrique

 

*In South Africa, SuperSport has exclusive pay TV rights, and in Sub-Saharan Africa non-exclusive rights.