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BBC and ITV score Six Nations coverage rights ‘til 2021

Six Nations rugby will remain on free to air TV for the next six years, thanks to a deal done with the BBC, ITV and the WRU. 

The BBC will show live Scotland, Wales and France home matches while England, Ireland and Italy home games will be shown live on ITV.  BBC Radio 5 Live will provide radio coverage of all matches while live streams of BBC games will be shown on the BBC Sport site as well as mobile and smart TV apps. 

BBC director of sport, Barbara Slater said: “It’s great news for fans of the Six Nations that the championship will be staying on free to air television. 

Related: Sky Sports and BT Sport agree to share European Rugby Champions Cup“It’s a very special competition and our viewing figures from this year prove just how popular it is with audiences. We very much look forward to starting our new partnership with ITV and continuing our strong relationship with RBS 6 Nations.” 

The BBC previously held the exclusive rights to the tournament until 2017, but following bids from Sky and BT, who both broadcast live rugby union and league games, the BBC sought a partnership with ITV. 

Niall Sloane, ITV director of sport, added: “As ITV prepares to bring viewers exclusive, free-to-air live coverage of the Rugby World Cup later this year, we’re delighted to be strengthening our ties with the game by bringing audiences the first class, live action and unique atmosphere of the RBS 6 Nations from next year.” 

The annual Six Nations tournament consists of 15 games. The BBC will have eight and ITV seven in 2016, with that allocation of games reversed each year. 

If the current fixtures remain unchanged, then the first match of the 2016 Six Nations, France vs Italy, will be broadcast live by the BBC on February 6, 2016. 

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