BBC admits it may be unable to afford Six Nations rugby with the organisation facing an 'incredibly difficult' challenge to secure rights amid financial constraints

Trending 2 weeks ago
  • The BBC and ITV presently stock authorities to broadcast nan Six Nations until 2025
  • Concerns person emerged complete whether nan BBC tin spend authorities moving forward
  • Reports person suggested Six Nations authorities could beryllium sold arsenic portion of a bundle 

By Michael Pavitt For Mailonline

Published: 18:45 EST, 21 November 2023 | Updated: 18:45 EST, 21 November 2023

The BBC's outgoing head of athletics has admitted nan organisation whitethorn suffer retired connected authorities to broadcast nan Six Nations amid concerns nan tourney mightiness not beryllium shown on terrestrial television.

The tourney has traditionally been shown connected free-to-air television, but nan arena is not protected for illustration nan FIFA World Cups, Olympics and Wimbledon.

Concerns person been raised complete whether nan tourney will stay affordable for nan broadcaster, aft reports emerged that nan Six Nations could beryllium sold arsenic portion of a bundle pinch a caller World League. 

Barbara Slater told nan Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee that nan organisation's financial constraints person made bidding for sporting authorities 'incredibly difficult'.

'We request a well-funded BBC if we are going to beryllium capable to proceed to spend sports rights,' said Slater, who will discontinue adjacent year.

The BBC presently shares authorities to broadcast Six Nations matches pinch ITV until 2025

The BBC admits it faces a difficult determination complete authorities to show nan tournament, pinch their sum led by Gabby Logan

'Sports authorities successful nan UK person much than doubled successful nan past decade. BBC's income successful existent position has gone down 30 per cent.

'It is incredibly difficult for nan BBC to maintain, crossed a scope of sports, nan expectations of those governing bodies.

'With nan Six Nations, for illustration anything, we will person to measure nan affordability astatine nan time. Because it is very difficult for nan BBC, connected that trajectory of income, to proceed to spend everything that we have.

'The truth is we're astir apt not going to beryllium nan highest bidder, and it will travel down to individual governing bodies arsenic to really they equilibrium that scope and revenue.'

The BBC has been a long-standing broadcaster of nan Six Nations, but was forced to subordinate forces pinch ITV successful 2015 to guarantee nan tourney remained on free-to-air television.

The broadcasters agreed a grounds £460million woody past twelvemonth to support nan authorities for nan 2022 to 2026 cycle.

ITV are nan 'senior partner' for nan tournaments and clasp authorities to England, Ireland, France and Italy location games, while nan BBC show Scotland and Wales location matches.

Slater's ITV counterpart Niall Sloane admitted to MPs location was 'no guarantee' nan Six Nations and Rugby World Cups will stay connected free-to-air television.