The Six Nations could be removed from free-to-air television with Sky Sports emerging as favourites to snatch broadcasting rights for the rugby tournament.
Sky are in line to secure a £300million agreement to screen the competition from 2021, leaving terrestrial channels BBC and ITV on the margins with potentially huge implications for the sport.
A Six Nations statement said any speculation was “highly premature” but said they “will not rule anything out”.
“Six Nations are in the process of seeking bids for various sets of media rights but these are not due for some time,” the statement read.
“All of this is highly premature and speculative as no proposals have yet been received by any interested party.
“We would not rule anything out at this stage and the unions will collectively review and make a decision based on the nature of the offers received.”
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England’s home games were on Sky from 1997 to 2000, but Six Nations games have been free-to-air since then.
A BBC spokesperson said: “While we wouldn’t comment on the specifics of an ongoing rights negotiation, terrestrial channels have brought unprecedented viewing figures to the Six Nations, ensuring that rugby remains a sport that is very much relevant and enjoyed by as wide an audience as possible and we very much hope that will continue.”
The Team Voted The Greatest Six Nations XV Of All Time By Fans
With the 2020 Six Nations in full swing, we wanted to know what you think the best-ever combined XV.
And after 30,000 votes, here is the team fans selected. There are one or two surprise inclusions.
Fullback: JASON ROBINSON (England) – 10,758 votes
Winger: SHANE WILLIAMS (Wales) – 12,374
Centre: Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland) – 21,392
Centre: Will Greenwood (England) – 10,697
Greenwood followed his father Dick into an England shirt. While his father was a prickly back row player, the younger Greenwood was one of the finest centres to grace the England midfield.