The BBC and ITV are entered into exclusive talks to acquire the broadcast rights to rugby union’s Six Nations in a new four-year deal.
The terrestrial broadcasters are believed to have moved ahead of competitors Sky and Amazon to score the rights.
The deal will include all three Six Nations Championships (Men’s Guinness Six Nations, Women’s Six Nations and Men’s Under- 20’s), and is due to begin in 2022 and end after the 2025 Championships.
Matches will be split across the two broadcasters. For the Men’s Guinness Six Nations Championship, ITV will show all of England, Ireland, Italian and French home matches, while BBC will broadcast all of Scotland and Wales’ home matches.
Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport said: “For the millions of Six Nations fans across the UK, the Championships remaining free-to-air is wonderful news. We look forward to delivering live action from both the Men’s and Women’s as well as the Men’s Under-20’s Championships to the widest possible audience over the next four seasons. BBC Sport has led the way in increasing the profile of Women’s sports, so we are thrilled to now include the Women’s Six Nations as a permanent fixture on our broadcast calendar.”
Niall Sloane, ITV director of sport, added: “ITV is delighted to have reached this agreement, which extends free-to-air coverage of such an important tournament and will ensure it remains centre stage each spring. With the addition of France home games to those of England, Ireland and Italy, we look forward to bringing ITV viewers a wealth of superb rugby from the Six Nations in the coming years.”