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6 Nations TV contract

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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,775 ✭✭✭ duffman13


    Present deal ends with this year's tournament.

    Interesting article in Wales Online which suggests Sky are favourites and there can be no joint deal e.g. BBC/ITV this time around.

    https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/everything-know-six-nations-tv-17848025
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    Personally think pay tv is the death nail in the 6 nations to be honest. Not sure what viewing figures are like but it picks up and awful lot of casual fans due to its availability FTA. Money talks however and that money, given the impact on finances of Covid, is too big to turn down


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,705 ✭✭✭ The Inbetween is mine


    Sky had exclusive rights before... but it didn't include Ireland home games ..it could go back to that scenario again I guess...not ideal but money talks in these troubled times


  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 10,515 Mod ✭✭✭✭ icdg


    The Times (of London) had a article which more broadly dealt with the question of rugby union TV rights but had a similar slant re the Six Nations - that Sky would be going strongly for this one. Deadline for bids apparently closed yesterday.

    Could be an element of talking up the value, which seems to have become a common tactic for sporting organisations these days. Barely a rights sale goes by that Amazon isn’t mentioned, sometimes in connection with stuff they are barely interested in.

    Sky are more or less out of rugby now except the Lions, a process which began a few years ago when they replaced their numbered channels with sports themed ones but there was no place for a Sky Sports Rugby. So will they do an about turn? Maybe, it’s the second most popular team sport in the U.K. But I think there’ll be big political resistance on both sides of the Irish Sea to such a deal being done. Virgin has just walked away from the Champions League rights and they may have money to try and retain these.


  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 10,515 Mod ✭✭✭✭ icdg


    Sky had exclusive rights before... but it didn't include Ireland home games ..it could go back to that scenario again I guess...not ideal but money talks in these troubled times

    As I recall it was a solo deal done with Sky for England home games about 20 years ago and it nearly got England kicked out of the tournament. The other unions weren’t part of it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,074 ✭✭✭ OldRio


    Unfortunately I see short term gains, financially speaking, winning over long term objectives (Growing the game)

    Sad really.
    I for one do not have Sky and will not get Sky. Watching the 5 Nations during these months of the year got me hooked on Rugby. Live on terrestrial TV in the 60s and 70s. Black and white TV. Bill McLarens voice. The mud. The scrum. The wonderful Welsh backs. The occasional victory for Ireland.
    Memorys.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,024 bayern


    utter disaster.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,025 ✭✭✭ Former Former Former


    That WalesOnline article is from a YEAR AGO.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,355 CMod ✭✭✭✭ awec


    That WalesOnline article is from a YEAR AGO.

    I am pretty sure the current rights expire this year though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,795 ✭✭✭ Digifriendly


    Apologies re the article being old hat. However the bids for the next 6N contract were submitted yesterday and that is primarily why I began this thread. Rumours have it that Sky or Amazon may well win the rights.

    As pointed out Sky's only previuos deal included only England's home games and their away fixture against France. BBC showed all other games live while ITV had highlights of matches Sky showed live. IIRC this deal lasted from 1997 - 2002 but only began in autumn of 1997 with England's autumn internationals so didn't include the 1997 5 Nations which was shown entirely by BBC. IMHO it was a disaster and I well remember RTE were showing live one match while their panellists were watching with one eye the other match England vs Ireland in the studio and commenting on it at HT and FT as RTE did not have rights to show the Ireland game.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,355 CMod ✭✭✭✭ awec


    Wasn't there threats before from one of the governments that if the 6N went down this route they'd put the games on the protected list?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 433 ✭✭ Butson


    That WalesOnline article is from a YEAR AGO.

    That makes it even a bigger chance of going to Sky or Amazon.
    Revenues have fallen off a cliff with the pandemic.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,025 ✭✭✭ Former Former Former


    Well, I think the rules have changed with a) Covid and its enormous financial drain and b) the yet-to-be-confirmed emergence of CVC as a shareholder in the 6N.

    I would say the best we can hope for is some sort of hybrid of FTA and pay TV.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,355 CMod ✭✭✭✭ awec


    The whole "joint bids are disallowed" tactic is basically to make it impossible for FTA to be the highest bidder.

    Sky will want exclusivity so I don't see how a hybrid approach would work.


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,433 ✭✭✭✭ thomond2006


    I don't mind pay TV vs FTA if the pay tv option is reasonable (e.g. Sky Sports has an initial offer of 19.50 per month via Now TV).

    It would be good if the pay broadcasters could scale up to 4k broadcasting for that extra oomph, but I don't know how realistic that is.


  • Registered Users Posts: 433 ✭✭ Butson


    I think what might happen is that Sky get the rights, but they put out some of the lesser games on their basic channels like Sky Sports Mix or Sky One.
    They did that with the GAA this year and the odd Premier League game.


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,433 ✭✭✭✭ thomond2006


    Butson wrote: »
    I think what might happen is that Sky get the rights, but they put out some of the lesser games on their basic channels like Sky Sports Mix or Sky One.
    They did that with the GAA this year and the odd Premier League game.

    I can't see them doing that for a competition that has 3 games on a weekend.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,282 ✭✭✭✭ Podge_irl


    awec wrote: »
    The whole "joint bids are disallowed" tactic is basically to make it impossible for FTA to be the highest bidder.

    Sky will want exclusivity so I don't see how a hybrid approach would work.

    Yeah, I can't see any reasonable excuse for banning them bar just making it easier to go to Pay TV.

    I am somewhat resigned to this happening, but it seems like an utterly stupid and short-termist move.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,213 ✭✭✭✭ bilston


    Sky had exclusive rights before... but it didn't include Ireland home games ..it could go back to that scenario again I guess...not ideal but money talks in these troubled times

    They had England home matches at the end of the 90s/early 00s.

    Personally I don't mind Sky getting the rights as I have Sky and Sky will.cover it very well.

    But there is an obvious danger here that casual fans will lose interest in the 6Ns. The 6Ns need to take all that into consideration.

    There is no easy answer here, rugby needs cash now, but short term financial gain could lead to long term problems.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,213 ✭✭✭✭ bilston


    A hybrid deal is ideal. If even one match per round was on FTA that would go a long way to keeping the casual viewer interested. But Sky aren't going to pay anywhere near as much unless they have exclusive rights.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,026 ✭✭✭✭ Squidgy Black


    awec wrote: »
    Wasn't there threats before from one of the governments that if the 6N went down this route they'd put the games on the protected list?

    Yeah Irish government threatened to stop the CVC deal originally because of it, and there was talk of legislation being amended to classify the 6N games as broadcasts that had to be shown FTA, but I don't think anything was done about it in the end.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,429 ✭✭✭✭ Cookiemunster


    Yeah Irish government threatened to stop the CVC deal originally because of it, and there was talk of legislation being amended to classify the 6N games as broadcasts that had to be shown FTA, but I don't think anything was done about it in the end.
    AFAIK the IRFU doesn't want the 6N on the list. It reduces the options and the price that can be gotten for the TV rights. The government took those views into account when deciding what to do.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,355 CMod ✭✭✭✭ awec


    bilston wrote: »
    A hybrid deal is ideal. If even one match per round was on FTA that would go a long way to keeping the casual viewer interested. But Sky aren't going to pay anywhere near as much unless they have exclusive rights.

    There is only 3 games per round, it's not like the Champions Cup where there are loads of games.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,795 ✭✭✭ Digifriendly


    awec wrote: »
    The whole "joint bids are disallowed" tactic is basically to make it impossible for FTA to be the highest bidder.

    Sky will want exclusivity so I don't see how a hybrid approach would work.

    Have been informed on another forum that joint bids are now permitted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,737 ✭✭✭ jacothelad


    Sky had exclusive rights before... but it didn't include Ireland home games ..it could go back to that scenario again I guess...not ideal but money talks in these troubled times


    I think Sky had the rights to England's home games only.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,795 ✭✭✭ Digifriendly


    jacothelad wrote: »
    I think Sky had the rights to England's home games only.

    As I pointed out in an earlier post (post #10) Sky had exclusivity to live coverage of England's home games (both Ai's and 5N/6N) and their away fixture against France from autumn 1997 to spring 2002.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,213 ✭✭✭✭ bilston


    It just occurred to me that the Premier League TV rights are out to tender soon. Think I read a decision is expected in May, that is bound to be a priority for Sky and BT, and even Amazon, who have dipped their toes in the Premier League market already. I wonder if that would have an impact on bids for the 6Ns rights?

    Any thoughts Digifriendly?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,795 ✭✭✭ Digifriendly


    bilston wrote: »
    It just occurred to me that the Premier League TV rights are out to tender soon. Think I read a decision is expected in May, that is bound to be a priority for Sky and BT, and even Amazon, who have dipped their toes in the Premier League market already. I wonder if that would have an impact on bids for the 6Ns rights?

    Any thoughts Digifriendly?

    I may be completely wrong here but I don't think rugby is high on Sky's priority list at present. Soccer is their main focus. If Amazon are as wealthy as we think they are they could win the 6N contract but that is only a hunch I have and nothing more.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,355 CMod ✭✭✭✭ awec


    I may be completely wrong here but I don't think rugby is high on Sky's priority list at present. Soccer is their main focus. If Amazon are as wealthy as we think they are they could win the 6N contract but that is only a hunch I have and nothing more.

    If Amazon bid they'd need to team up with BT or Sky to get their coverage on satellite so they can sell it to pubs etc.

    I'd be amazed if Amazon went for it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,010 ✭✭✭ kildare lad


    They'll lose a huge amount of people watching rugby if they decided to charge for it. Would they lose lots of sponsors as there would be less people watching the games . As usual it's billionaires not happy with the amount of money they have and wanna squeeze more out of the ordinary joe .


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  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 10,515 Mod ✭✭✭✭ icdg


    awec wrote: »
    If Amazon bid they'd need to team up with BT or Sky to get their coverage on satellite so they can sell it to pubs etc.

    I'd be amazed if Amazon went for it.

    They did exactly that for the Premier League (with BT). I wouldn’t count that as necessarily an obstacle but I don’t think it’ll be Amazon for different reasons.


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