The entirety of the Guinness Six Nations, Women’s Six Nations and Under-20s Six Nations will be available on free-to-air television in Ireland thanks to an historic agreement between RTÉ and Virgin Media Television.
The broadcasters have announced a partnership that will see all 45 matches across the three Championships available on free-to-air television.
It begins with the opening games of the Under-20s Six Nations on February 4 including Ireland’s clash with Wales at Musgrave Park.
The following day, the senior side will take on defending champions Wales in their Guinness Six Nations opener, while the Women’s Six Nations will take place in its own window from March 26.
Commenting, Dee Forbes, RTÉ director general, said: “There’s always great excitement among sports fans at this time of the year about the start of the Six Nations rugby action and more so this year with all three tournaments – men’s, women’s and Under-20s – being available, free-to-air, on RTÉ and Virgin Media Ireland.
“We are delighted to have the Guinness Six Nations back on RTÉ and we are looking forward to bringing great coverage and analysis of all three Championships to audiences across our services.”
Virgin Media Television MD Paul Farrell added: “Putting the fans first is very important.
“Grassroots participation in sport falls away if it’s not visible and accessible through free-to-air media.
“Particularly for women’s and Under-20s, which are growing really, really fast, that’s really important. It’s where the unions and the competitions saw value in the partnership.”
RTÉ’s Six Nations Rugby coverage of all 45 matches across the three competitions will include exclusive free-to-air matches on RTÉ2, RTÉ Radio and RTÉ Player, while RTÉ.ie/Sport will have minute-by-minute match coverage.
Virgin Media Television will broadcast live and exclusive coverage across Virgin Media One, Virgin Media Two, Virgin Media Sport and Virgin Media Player.