Thursday, 12 November 2015

Irish Times: TV3 blasts RTÉ aside to take Six Nations from 2018

Story from Irish Times:

The Six Nations Council has awarded the broadcast rights for the Six Nations Championship to TV3, starting with the 2018 tournament for a period of four years in a deal that is reputed to be worth in excess of €22 million.

It represents a significant coup for the station.

TV3 prevailed in a “competitive tender process” to oust the current broadcast rights holders RTÉ, offering a superior financial package that the national station could not match.

RTÉ will screen the 2016 and 2017 Six Nations before its contract comes to an end.

John Malone’s Liberty Global, which recently bought TV3, would have provided the station with the requisite monetary resources to chase the television rights of northern hemisphere rugby’s biggest tournament, following on directly from the station’s commercial success in broadcasting the recent Rugby World Cup, screening all 48 matches live.

Whatever about a debate over the relative merit of the technical and editorial content of the respective tenders, TV3 and RTÉ, a primary consideration will have been the financial package offered by the former believed to be between €5 million and €7 million per annum.

Free-to-air Minister for Communications Alex White expressed his satisfaction that the Six Nations will continue to be broadcast on free-to-air terrestrial television until 2021.