Six Nations to remain on free-to-air TV … with BBC and ITV delivering record ratings when they see the challenge of Sky and BT
- The Six Nations seems likely to remain on free-to-air TV in the UK via BBC and ITV
- The current deal is worth £ 90 million and provides record number of view numbers
- Last year's Wales victory drew an audience of 8.9 m
- Sky Sports or BT Sport could still bid high for one of the packages offered
New Investors CVC Capital Partners had hoped to win a larger contract by bringing part or all of the tournament to satellite television, starting with reclaiming part of their proposed investment of £ 300 million.
But the purchase of a 15 percent stake in the Six Nations has yet to be completed prior to the approaching auction of rights.
CVC & # 39; s long-term strategy is the bundling of all natio National and international competitions from the home countries together in one rights package to increase value – their discussions with the Six Nations follow previous investments in the Gallagher Premiership and the Pro14 – but that plan may have to wait.
Although the domestic rights for the autumn internationals, Six Nations, Premiership and Pro 14 are all available from the 2022 season and will all come on the market at the same time, such a bundle is also likely to be complex, given the need for a deal in the coming months.
The power brokers of Six Nations are also largely satisfied with the existing deal with BBC and ITV, which is worth between them £ 90 million and yields a record viewing figures.
As a result, the broadcasters are confident that they will retain the rights they currently share, although Sky Sports or BT Sport may still try to outbid them for one of the packages.
Wales & last year's win over England in Cardiff drew a peak audience of 8.9 m over the BBC, more than a FA Cup draw between Manchester United and Chelsea in the same week.
Covering the Celtic countries is especially important for the BBC, as it contributes to fulfilling their task of being a national broadcaster, fundamental to maintaining funding with license fees. live rights to the fall series of England, through which the Six Nations leave for terrestrial canals.