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RTÉ and Virgin Media to share future Six Nations games as new broadcast deal announced

Women’s Six Nations and Men’s Under 20s Championships will also be shown on Virgin Media.

File pic.
File pic.
Image: Giuseppe Fama/INPHO

RTÉ AND VIRGIN Media are set to share future Six Nations broadcasting duties, it has been announced.

The deal, which has been agreed “in principle,” means the Six Nations will remain on free-to-air TV, despite some media speculation that would cease to be the case.

It also means RTÉ will show fixtures from the event for the first time since 2018, with Virgin Media having exclusive rights to show the tournament in Ireland for the past three years.

In addition, it was confirmed that Virgin Media will broadcast U20 and Women’s Six Nations for the first time.

Part of a statement read: “Six Nations Rugby today confirmed that it has commenced joint long form contract discussions with broadcasters Virgin Media Television and RTÉ having agreed a joint proposal in principle. It is planned that an agreement will ensure all three Six Nations Championships (Men’s Guinness Six Nations, Women’s Six Nations and Men’s U20 tournaments) enjoy unprecedented coverage in the Republic of Ireland, benefiting from a first partnership of its kind between the two broadcasters.

“Subject to final contractual agreements, it is envisaged that all three Championships will be shared in a balanced way which will see RTÉ again broadcast games from the Men’s Guinness Six Nations, while Virgin Media Television will diversify its coverage to include the Women’s Six Nations and Men’s U20 Championships for the first time.”

The statement added that “no further comment will be made at this point from any of the parties until such time as the contract terms have been concluded”.

Reacting to the news, RTÉ’s Director General Dee Forbes described it as “a win for the Irish public”.

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She added: “As competition increases from global players in the sports rights market, we are delighted to work locally with Virgin Media Television, with the aim of serving Irish audiences with fantastic Six Nations action. RTÉ has a long and proud history in showcasing Irish rugby and is delighted to work with Six Nations and the IRFU to continue to strengthen that tradition.”

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Paul Fennessy

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