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Pay-TV operators could score a Six Nations match

Possible new investor wants to sell one match per round to pay-TV operators

Pay-TV operators in the UK could be set to gain the rights to one match per round in rugby’s Six Nations.

Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners has been in talks to buy a minority stake in the Six Nations competition since September 2019. It is apparently looking to secure a 15 per cent share of the tournament’s commercial arm as well as rights to summer tours and autumn internationals.

However, the £300 million deal is being held up by a row over current broadcasting rights deal with the BBC and ITV. The two broadcasters currently pay £90 million annually for the rights to broadcast the tournament. According to The Guardian, CVC wants to agree a new deal, which would offer one match per round to a pay-TV broadcaster.

The paper says CVC believes income from broadcast rights will be the difference between it making a healthy return on its investment or a modest one.

The Six Nations is in Group B of the government’s listed sporting events for broadcasting, which guarantees free-to-air broadcasters secondary rights.