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Sky Sports set to miss out on securing Six Nations rights

The BBC and ITV will share coverage of the tournament.

The Six Nations is likely to be shared by BBC and ITV.
The Six Nations is likely to be shared by BBC and ITV.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

THE SIX NATIONS seems set to remain on free-to-air television in the UK, with reports that the BBC and ITV have teamed up to secure the tournament’s broadcasting rights ahead of Sky.

With the BBC unable to fund the bid to secure exclusive coverage of the tournament when their current deal expires in 2017, The Guardian report that they are now launching a €70m (£50m) bid with ITV to keep the championship on free-to-air TV.

With a decision expected before the end of the week, it’s claimed that Sky will now lose out unless they return with a far greater offer, to entice the organisers to allow the tournament be shown on pay TV.

Retaining the coverage of the most lucrative rugby competition outside of the World Cup is seen as imperative for the BBC, who have already lost their rights to host The Open Championship to Sky this year.

The free-to-air broadcasters will combine to finance the €70m-a-year- deal, although no information has been revealed about how they will share coverage.

As it stands, the Six Nations does not have the A List status that protects it from being shown on pay TV, but is B Listed, meaning that highlights must be made available free-to-air.

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Neil Treacy

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