Major blow for RTE… as 6 Nations rights go to rival station TV3


On the back of its successful coverage of the Rugby World Cup, TV3 has now also secured the rights to the 6 Nations contest from 2018 until 2021 – nabbing the deal from RTÉ.

It's a major coup for independent broadcaster – and a serious blow for Montrose.

CEO of 6 Nations Rugby John Feehan said today: "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 6 Nations Championship."

The sporting competition will still be broadcast on RTÉ next year and in 2017 while the current contract runs out. 

In a statement, RTÉ admitted the news was "extremely disappointing".

"We have a long and proud tradition of showcasing the 6 Nations and putting our heart and soul into our coverage.

"We want to assure the Irish public that every possible effort was made by RTÉ to retain these rights."

Rugby remains a hugely popular spectacle in this country: over the last two years viewership in Ireland has averaged more than 400,000 per 6 Nations match.