DCMS chair Knight writes to Six Nations Council

Published by Rhys Taylor-Brown on March 8th 2020, 7:07am

Julian Knight, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Committee, has written to the Six Nations Council urging them to keep the iconic annual rugby tournament a free-to-air competition.

Television rights for the competition are currently shared between the BBC and ITV, but reports have suggested that a joint-bid may not be possible when the deal lapses in 2021, with Sky earmarked as favourites to secure the rights in a £300 million deal.

Knight's letter has asked for clarity on the bidding process, citing the Broadcasting Act 1996 and saying that moving to a subscription service "would go against the spirit of broadcasting rules intended to ensure that sporting events like this [that are of national interest] are freely available to all".

Knight also requests further clarity on speculation that private equity firm CVC will take a 15 per cent stake in the tournament, geared toward upping its commercial revenue.

An extract of the letter was published on Twitter via the Digital, Culture & Sport Committee's official account, which may be read here.

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Rhys Taylor-Brown
Junior Editor
March 8th 2020, 7:07am

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