Government has 'missed opportunity' to protect Six Nations Rugby tournament, says DCMS Committee Chair
20 March 2020
The Government has rejected calls by the DCMS Committee to promote the Championships to the Group A category of listed sporting events which would have ensured future free-to-air coverage.
MPs made the request following media speculation that the Six Nations event may be placed behind a paywall for the first time since 2002 as a result of negotiations for broadcasting rights covering the 2022-24 tournament.
DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight MP said:
"We've been informed by the government today that it has rejected our call to review the listing of the Six Nations Championship to give it Group A status which would have ensured it remained available on free-to-air channels.
"It is very disappointing and a real missed opportunity that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is not even prepared to consider our request. It would have given fans hope for the future to see a national event that brings people together was being protected for all. That's the message that becomes even more important in a time like this."