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MPs call for FTA Six Nations Rugby

March 16, 2020

By Colin Mann

UK MPs are calling on the government to include the Six Nations rugby tournament as a Category A listed sporting event to ensure free-to-air coverage.

The formal request follows a failure by the Six Nations Council to give a clear answer to questions from the DCMS Committee about whether it had held discussions with the government about moving the tournament from Category B.

The Six Nations Council has confirmed that bids allowing a broadcaster to share rights with another will be permitted in the bidding process for television rights.

“We’re pleased that in response to our letters, Six Nations has confirmed that joint bids from broadcasters are now being considered,” commented DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight MP. “When we put this to [BBC Director General] Lord Hall yesterday, he confirmed that the BBC had put in a bid that would involve a sub-license with ITV.”

“We welcome the BBC’s acknowledgment and thanks for the role this committee has played in the debate, including the step we’ve taken to formally request that DCMS Secretary of State Oliver Dowden considers moving the Six Nations from Category B to Category A of listed sports.”

“Such a move would ensure the championship remains available via free-to-air channels. We await his response next week.”

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