Former England international turned pundit Brian Moore has ripped apart Sky TV’s alleged bid to win the broadcast rights for the Six Nations Championship.
“The first point to make is that CVC has no track record in rugby and has previously expressed no interest in it as a sport,” wrote Moore.
“If its recent ownership of Formula One is anything to go by, it appears to be interested only on its return on investment.
According to @brianmoore666 the #GuinnessSixNations would be making a huge mistake by selling the rights to satellite TV. He tells @george_chuter the long-term damage would be irreversible.— Telegraph Rugby (@TelegraphRugby) March 2, 2020
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“In 2014, it is reported they took in £347 million from a turnover of £1.25 billion, at that point representing a return on investment of more than 350 per cent. Between 2010 and 2019, F1’s viewing numbers are said to have fallen 137 million globally.”
He continues: “Look at what happened to cricket in the decade after 2005 when it left free-to-air television. The England and Wales Cricket Board announced record turnover, profit and investment in the game and a near 30 per cent drop in participation numbers.
“There is no reason to think the same would not happen in rugby.”
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“Rugby is not like football. It is a minority sport which needs money and exposure even to stand still in the battle to survive,” he added.
“Rugby cannot afford to get this decision wrong and it should remember, it will have to live with the consequences of a bad choice.
“CVC will be long gone and on to whatever project it thinks will add to its $75 billion (£59 billion) assets.”