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TV3 secures Six Nations Championship rights from 2018
11 Nov 2015 : Seán Brosnan
TV3 will broadcast every game live and free-to-air for viewers in the Republic of Ireland from 2018 onwards
TV3 along with The Six Nations Council has announced that it has secured the rights to the Six Nations Championship for a period of four years from 2018 until 2021, following the conclusion of a competitive tender process.

TV3 will broadcast every game live and free-to-air for viewers in the Republic of Ireland from 2018 onwards. TV3’s coverage will also include previews, magazine programmes and highlight shows as well as delayed match replays of all matches to complement live coverage and give maximum exposure.

The Six Nations Championship is the premier rugby competition in the Northern Hemisphere. Over the last two years viewership in Ireland has averaged over 400,000 per match. Ireland has enjoyed back-to-back title success in the Six Nations Championship in 2014 and 2015.

Commenting on the agreement, John Feehan, CEO of Six Nations Rugby said: “We are delighted to be working with TV3 on developing the interest in the Championship and to ultimately grow this wonderful competition in Ireland. TV3’s coverage of Rugby World Cup was very successful and we believe that they will inject new and exciting ideas in the broadcasting of the Six Nations Championship.”

Niall Cogley, TV3 Group Director of Broadcasting said: “In the last two months, TV3 has been able to demonstrate its credentials as Ireland’s National Commercial Broadcaster with a refreshing and comprehensive presentation of all 48 games of Rugby World Cup 2015. We are grateful that the Six Nations Unions, the Federations and their Executive team were sufficiently impressed by our recent work. We very much look forward to presenting Rugby’s Greatest Championship into the foreseeable future and making TV3 the home of rugby in Ireland.”

TV3 Group CEO, David McRedmond, said: “In recent years we have had to endure extraordinary challenges in the most intense of commercial environments. I am delighted we can back up our success with Rugby World Cup 2015 coverage by winning these rights. We are committed to providing Irish audiences with the best home production in sport, in drama with the award-winning ‘Red Rock’, in documentaries like ‘The Joy’, in News and in entertainment shows such as ‘The Great Irish Bake-Off’.”

RTÉ have expressed their disappointment in losing the 6 Nations Championship rights.

In a statement RTÉ's Group Head of Sport, Ryle Nugent, said: "This is extremely disappointing news for RTÉ. We have a long and proud tradition of showcasing the 6 Nations and putting our heart and soul into our coverage."

Nugent continued: "We want to assure the Irish public that every possible effort was made by RTÉ to retain these rights. As a public service broadcaster, RTÉ’s ambition has always been, and continues to be, to deliver the best possible viewer experience and to share moments of major national importance. We put forward the best possible bid within our means, while always mindful of the significant responsibilities attached to spending public funds."

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