BBC, ITV eye joint Six Nations coverage
DetailsRebecca Hawkes | 08 July 2015
The BBC and ITV are reportedly joining forces to bid against Sky in order to keep the Six Nations rugby tournament on terrestrial television in the UK, once the BBC's existing rights deal ends in 2017.
The combined bid is worth £50 million per annum – a £10 million increase on the BBC's current deal – according to The Guardian.
This marks the first time that the Six Nations committee has opened the bidding for the competition's broadcast rights to pay-TV operators — a move geared to increase the value of rugby's oldest international tournament. However, the expected battle between BT and Sky for the rights did not materialise; the final round of bidding finished in early July with Sky winning out, the newspaper reports.
Although the BBC's final bid was lower than Sky's offer, a combined deal with ITV could provide the most financially lucrative option and avoid a public outcry over the loss of Six Nations coverage on terrestrial TV.