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On Tuesday, the deadline passed for applications for the next set of Six Nations broadcasting rights. As I outlined in early-day motion 237, it looks likely—indeed, packages have been designed in such a way to ensure—that live coverage will be lost by terrestrial TV.
[That this House notes with concern that Six Nations organisers have refused to rule out the possibility of the tournament going behind a £300 million pay per view paywall in 2022 following the start of a new broadcast rights period; believes that by ruling out joint bids by terrestrial broadcasters Six Nations officials are making it inevitable that the rights to broadcast the tournament will be secured by a pay-to-view subscription service; is concerned that this move risks losing an audience that has been built up and will stymie the ability of the sport to attract young players to the game; notes that the Six Nations tournament has a long tradition of being aired on free-to-view television in the UK and that any decision that would limit access would be a retrograde step; calls on the Six Nations organisers to reconsider their decision on allowing joint broadcaster bids; and further calls on the Government to ensure that the long-cherished Six Nations tournament is given full protection under Group A listed event status.]
Six Nations Rugby Ltd apparently did not receive my email or letter requesting a meeting to discuss the issue, but there is another solution. Can we have a debate on listed events, so that we can discuss moving the Six Nations to group A protection?