Para dressage will be broadcast live from Tokyo 2020 in a huge step forward for the discipline.
It is one of five additional sports to be broadcast live at next year’s Paralympic Games.
This brings the total number of sports with live coverage to a record 21 disciplines from 19 sports.
“We are thrilled to be part of the live broadcast of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and our sport will benefit greatly from this worldwide exposure”, said FEI secretary general Sabrina Ibáñez, who is also president of the Association of Paralympic Sports Organisations.
“The development of para dressage is phenomenal, with the number of athletes growing year on year, and being included in the live coverage from Tokyo 2020 will give more parts of the world the chance to discover our amazingly talented para athletes.”
The other sports gaining live coverage from the Paralympics (25 August to 6 September) are canoeing, rowing, archery and shooting.
The move is a result of increased support from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), Tokyo 2020 and Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS).
“Thanks to the growing interest and investment from broadcasters around the world to screen the Paralympic Games we have been able to significantly increase the number of sports to be broadcast live for Tokyo 2020”, IPC commercial, broadcasting and partnerships director Alexis Schaefer said.
“Our strategy throughout has been to invest all additional revenues generated from TV rights sales back into the broadcasting plan for Tokyo 2020.
“This is allowing us to broadcast live nine disciplines and seven sports more compared to Rio 2016, a huge leap forward which will benefit broadcasters and the whole Paralympic movement.”
Mr Schaefer added Tokyo 2020 will “without doubt” have the best, most complete and in-depth television coverage yet for a Paralympic Games.
“In addition to more live TV coverage, we are also investing into delivering far greater short form content for broadcasters to use in the form of highlights, athletes features and profiles,” he said.
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OBS chief executive Yiannis Exarchos added: “OBS is pleased to deliver extensive broadcast coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and bring even more outstanding, inspirational performances and stories of the Paralympic athletes to millions of viewers around the world.”
Free-to-air coverage of the para dressage classes at this summer’s Longines FEI European Championships in Rotterdam (19 to 25 August) will also be offered, by FEI.tv.
For more on this news, including reaction and what it means for the sport, don’t miss this week’s issue of Horse & Hound — out Thursday, 25 July