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England set for £70million Six Countries spice up as stake of match’s business rights is bought

England set for £70m Six Nations boost as stake of tournament’s commercial rights is sold to private equity fund in £300m deal

  • The RFU is set for a much-needed cash injection of £70million after new deal 
  • The Six Nations has sold a stake in its commercial rights for £300million 
  • As the biggest television market, the RFU will get the biggest share of the deal 

The RFU are set to receive a much-needed cash injection of £70million after the Six Nations agreed to sell a 14.5 per cent stake in the tournament’s commercial rights to private equity fund CVC. 

Sportsmail has learned that, as England is the biggest television market, the RFU will get the biggest share of the £300m deal, which will be paid on a sliding scale to the six unions over a five-year period. It is a welcome boost for the RFU on the day they announced they are having to cut 139 jobs due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

France will receive the next biggest pay-day from CVC of around £65m, with Wales, Scotland and Ireland due to get significantly less on a sliding scale down to Italy, whose share is worth around £40m. 

England Rugby is set for a much-needed £70million cash injection thanks to a Six Nations deal

England Rugby is set for a much-needed £70million cash injection thanks to a Six Nations deal

The tournament has sold 14.5 per cent of its commercial rights for £300million

The tournament has sold 14.5 per cent of its commercial rights for £300million

The latter four unions, however, have also reached a separate deal with CVC worth £30m each for a 28 per cent stake in the Pro 14 club competition, in which they retain a controlling interest through Celtic Rugby DAC.

The imminent sale of a portion of the Six Nations commercial rights to CVC is timely for the RFU, who are forecasting losses of between £85m and £107m this year due to lost fixtures and match-day revenue caused by coronavirus.

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RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney warned in May that the pandemic could have a catastrophic impact on the sport — a message which hit home yesterday with the news that the union will be making 139 positions redundant, which is almost a quarter of their staff. 

As England has the biggest television market, the RFU will receive the lion's share

As England has the biggest television market, the RFU will receive the lion’s share

CVC’s purchase of a portion of the Six Nations commercial rights will increase pressure on the unions to sell at least some of the matches for the 2022-2025 tournaments to satellite television.

In March, Sky Sports tabled a bid for the largest of the three Six Nations packages, which features most but not all of the England matches, and BBC and ITV have also bid in the hope that at least some games will remain on terrestrial television.

The tender process was then put on hold.

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