The Six Nations could soon be free to air for Irish TV stations

THE SIX NATIONS Rugby Championship could soon be added to the ‘free to air’ list to stop satellite and cable stations buying exclusive rights to the live coverage.

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The Communications Minister Alex White is expected to tell the cabinet that he’s planning to include the rugby competition to a list of events which must be made available to terrestrial television channels.

Speaking about the report in today’s Sunday Times, Minister White told The Week in Politics on RTÉ One that it was “a little previous”.

He said, “I think there is a strong case for it but there is no decision yet.

“Anyone can see the success, including the success as a television event, with access for so many people to be able to see this.”

Over 850,000 people tuned into Scotland v Ireland live on RTE last weekend and 1.1 million viewers watched Ireland beat England at the start of this month.

White added: ”The act requires that I consult in particular with sporting bodies and I will do that and I look forward to doing that with the broadcasters RTE, TV3, TG4 and UTV.

The Irish Rugby Football Union are set to oppose the move and has stated that it believes the status quo should be maintained.

Addressing this White said, “I will respect what they have to say.”