Six Nations moves closer to free-to-air future

IRFU likely to oppose any such commitment

BY Raf Diallo 16:42 Tuesday 31 March 2015, 16:42 31 Mar 2015

Paul O'Connell (via @rbs_6_nations)

Despite the concerns of the IRFU, the Government has moved a step closer to making sure that the Six Nations remains on free-to-air TV.

Communications minister Alex White is to start a public consultation process on whether Ireland's games should be ringfenced and made available on terrestrial TV.

The current TV deal with RTE and the BBC only runs up until 2017, meaning that the tournament could be sold to the likes of Sky Sports or BT Sport from 2018 onwards.

The IRFU is likely to oppose any free-to-air commitment because of fears over how it could impact on their annual income from television rights, which is estimated to be worth €15M.

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