An announcement of a five-year deal worth £365million by CVC Capital Partners to buy into the Six Nations is expected before the 2021 championship starts with his opening round of matches on the weekend of February 6.
The purchase of a stake in the Six Nations by CVC has long been rumoured but it has now been reported that agreement has finally been reached with the six rugby unions for the sale of 14.5 per cent of commercial right belonging to the tournament.
A report in the Daily Mail suggests that the RFU will net the biggest share of investment from the investment by CVC, the company who already own stakes in the Gallagher Premiership and the Guinness PRO14. Next-best rewarded will be France, with Italy set to receive the smallest dividend.
It has taken two years of negotiations to reach this stage and although the sport has been impacted by the pandemic, it is believed the 2021 tournament will go ahead as currently planned.
This is reportedly at the behest of the new investors despite speculation that it could be shifted until a later date in the hope that restrictions preventing fans attending games might be lifted by then.
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) January 12, 2021
A reason why negotiations have taken so long is that checks had to be done at Government level regarding the status of the Six Nations and whether it would be considered a crown jewel of sport that must be kept on a free-to-air TV list.
Free-to-air status wasn’t forthcoming and with fresh broadcast deals set to be negotiated for the 2022 tournament, CVC now wants to put the championship out to tender with subscription channels in the UK as well as BBC and ITV, who currently share the rights. The 2021 tournament begins with Italy hosting France and England playing Scotland on February 6.
"Watching England win 53-0 against Scotland is not a great advert for women’s rugby."
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 11, 2021
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