Rugby Trade Directory

Six Nations rights to go back on sale in January

Six Nations Rugby will restart the sale of broadcast rights in the UK for the Six Nations and Autumn Inter­nati­onals in January.

The tender process, which was launched in February, was paused in March due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Reports suggest they will not run a new tender but will instead resume discussions with broadcasters from where they were left off in March.

The BBC and ITV are seeking to retain rights to the property.

BBC director-general Lord Hall told the UK parliament’s Department of Media, Culture and Sport committee in March that the broadcaster had submitted a bid for the Six Nations that involved a sublicense to ITV.

The two broadcasters hold exclusive rights to the Six Nations in a joint deal for the 2016-21 cycle worth £50m per year. BBC holds the rights to the home matches of France, Scotland and Wales, while ITV holds the rights to the England, Ireland and Italy home fixtures.

Pay-television broadcaster Sky and telco BT are also understood to have submitted bids earlier in the year. But it is understood that Six Nations Rugby will not spread the Six Nations and/or the Autumn Inter­nati­onals across a range of broadcasters given the rights-holder’s strong focus on narrative.

The UK tender also offered non-exclusive rights in Ireland to the Six Nations and Autumn Inter­nati­onals.

The two broadcasters hold exclusive rights to the Six Nations in a joint deal for the 2016-21 cycle worth £50m per year. BBC holds the rights to the home matches of France, Scotland and Wales, while ITV holds the rights to the England, Ireland and Italy home fixtures.

Pay-television broadcaster Sky and telco BT are also understood to have submitted bids earlier in the year. But it is understood that Six Nations Rugby will not spread the Six Nations and/or the Autumn Inter­nati­onals across a range of broadcasters given the rights-holder’s strong focus on narrative.

The UK tender also offered non-exclusive rights in Ireland to the Six Nations and Autumn Inter­nati­onals.

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