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Wales rugby boost as BBC and ITV free-to-watch Six Nations deal set to be announced

19 May 2021 2 minutes Read
The Six Nations trophy. Picture by Senedd Cymru (CC BY 2.0).

A new deal that will keep the Six Nations on free-to-air TV is set to be announced next week.

The tournament had been set to go behind a paywall after CVC bought a 14 per cent slice of the tournament for £365m, with Amazon, Sky Sports and BT Sport said to be showing an interest in broadcasting the matches.

However, Telegraph Sport have revealed that a deal with BBC and ITV is set to be confirmed. It remains to be seen whether S4C would be able to continue to provide coverage of all of Wales’ games, as is the case now.

The new deal is considered to cost BBC and ITV between the £90 million they are paying now and the £150 figure mooted in previous discussions. Amazon are believed to still be in the mix to broadcast the Autumn internationals.

BBC boss Tim Davie had previously said that securing the rights to broadcast Six Nations matches had been crucial for him.

“It’s utterly critical in my mind. There is a limit to our budget but it is utterly critical we protect things like that, because that’s where audiences get value from the BBC.

“So, that is of priority importance, that we can bring those big events.”

Following news of the deal’s completion in March, Six Nations chief executive Ben Morel told the BBC: “This is a hugely positive development. When we started this journey, our aim was to ensure we found the right strategic partner, who can add real value and is committed to a long-term relationship.

“CVC recognises the exciting potential in the Six Nations Championships and autumn international series, and they are aligned with our vision for the future.”

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Richard Jenkins
Richard Jenkins
6 months ago

Absolutely vital and a matter of human right that S4C retain the right to broadcast internationals in Welsh. This is the hill!!

Geraint
Geraint
6 months ago

It is going to be on S4C, pretty obvious that if it stays on free-to-air that S4C will get the Cymraeg rights.

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