According to reports the Six Nations is set to stay on free-to-air TV for the unforeseeable future in a huge boost to rugby fans.
The tender process for the next broadcast cycle, which starts in 2022, begins next month and both the BBC and ITV are confident of keeping hold of the rights for the northern hemisphere’s premier tournament, according to the Daily Mail .
The current deal is worth £90million and is delivering record viewing numbers with Wales’ victory against England last year attracted a peak audience of 8.9m.
New investors CVC Capital Partners had hoped to land a bigger contract, by taking some or all of the tournament to satellite television, to begin the process of recouping some of their proposed £300 million investment.
But the private equity company’s purchase of a 15 per cent stake in the Six Nations has yet to be completed ahead of the impending rights auction.
Sky Sports or BT Sport could still bid high for one of the packages on offer, but are thought to be unlikely to secure a deal.