The BBC and ITV have unveiled their broadcast plans for coverage of the 2016 RBS 6 Nations.
The 2016 Championship marks the start of a six-year deal between ITV and the BBC that will see the matches shared between both broadcasters on television and online.
Both channel’s free-to-air rights deal will see them showing the Six Nations until 2021, with the BBC covering all Wales, Scotland and France home matches during this period, while ITV has exclusive live rights to England, Ireland and Italy’s home clashes.
The BBC’s line-up includes an experienced presenting team led by its long-time Six Nations presenter John Inverdale, who switches back to the corporation following his work with ITV at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Gabby Logan and Jason Mohammad will also be part of the presenting line-up, while expert analysis comes from some of the biggest names in the great championship’s history, including Jeremy Guscott, Jonathan Davies, Mike Tindall, Martyn Williams, Andy Nicol, Keith Wood, Brian Moore, Ali Williams, Chris Paterson, Lewis Moody, Thomas Castaignede and Carlo Del Fava.
The commentary team will be led by Eddie Butler, Andrew Cotter and Alastair Eykyn. Sonja McLaughlan and Lee McKenzie will be reporting from pitch-side to give viewers the very latest news on the action as it unfolds.
The BBC will have exclusive TV coverage of four of the first six games from the tournament, including the Calcutta Cup game between Scotland and England from Murrayfield.
There will also be live coverage of the closing match between France and England, along with all of Scotland, Wales and France’s remaining home games.
A new Sunday night highlights programme, Six Nations Rugby Special, will have the best of the action from all of the weekend’s games.
The BBC will also be offering weekly round-ups of the Women’s Six Nations Championship in the network programmes, and there will also be extensive regional coverage on BBC Wales, BBC Northern Ireland and BBC Scotland.
Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport, says: “We are pleased to be working in partnership with ITV to continue to bring audiences free-to-air access to rugby’s greatest championship.
“We go in to the 2016 Six Nations with a BBC line-up that combines expert analysis from true legends of the game, a strong presenting team that the public knows and loves, along with new digital innovations bringing audiences closer to the action than ever before.
“More than 24 million people watched the BBC’s coverage of last year’s Six Nations and this year we will be there again, from the first kick to the final whistle to deliver a truly fantastic championship.”
ITV Sport will screen seven live games from the 2016 RBS 6 Nations as the channel gets set to cover live games from rugby’s greatest championship for the first time.
In addition to ITV’s coverage on the main channel, there will be extensive online coverage via the ITV Hub and ITV’s dedicated 6 Nations website.
Many of ITV’s pundits return following their involvement in the channel’s successful exclusive coverage of Rugby World Cup 2015 for seven live matches – including key games such as England v Ireland and England v Wales, both from Twickenham, as well as Ireland v Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Leading the broadcaster’s team will be presenter Mark Pougatch, joined by Jonny Wilkinson, Lawrence Dallaglio and Jason Robinson, members of England’s victorious Rugby World Cup 2003 team, along with their coach Sir Clive Woodward
Also part of ITV’s line-up will be former Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll, former Wales captain Gareth Thomas, former Scotland coach Sir Ian McGeechan, England Women World Cup winner Maggie Alphonsi, former England international Ugo Monye, and former Italian captain Marco Bortolami.
Jill Douglas will also be a presenter for the tournament while Martin Bayfield will combine presenting duties with his role as England reporter.
Joining them with a wealth of experience in the commentary box will be Nick Mullins and Martin Gillingham, plus co-commentators Shane Williams, Gordon D’Arcy, Ben Kay, Scott Hastings and David Flatman. Bringing viewers all the latest developments from in and around the stadia will be reporter Gabriel Clarke.
Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport, said: “We’re delighted to be bringing rugby fans first-class live action from key games in what is set to be one of the most thrilling 6 Nations tournaments ever.
“This is the first time ITV will be broadcasting this superb tournament and we’re delighted to be able to provide free to air coverage to viewers in partnership with the BBC.
“After a successful Rugby World Cup we’ve once again assembled a stellar line-up of rugby talent, many of whom can provide fresh and current insights into the mindsets and tactics of coaches and players, helping deliver the best possible coverage for those watching at home.”
|RBS 6 NATIONS 2016 – LIVE on BBC & ITV|
|SATURDAY 6th FEBRUARY|
|France v Italy Stade de France||14:25|
|Scotland v England Murrayfield||16:50|
|SUNDAY 7th FEBRUARY|
|Ireland v Wales Aviva Stadium||15:00|
|SATURDAY 13th FEBRUARY|
|France v Ireland Stade de France||14:25|
|Wales v Scotland Millennium Stadium||16:50|
|SUNDAY 14th FEBRUARY|
|Italy v England Stadio Olimpico||14:00|
|FRIDAY 26th FEBRUARY|
|Wales v France Millennium Stadium||20:05|
|SATURDAY 27th FEBRUARY|
|Italy v Scotland Stadio Olimpico||14:25|
|England v Ireland Twickenham||16:50|
|SATURDAY 12th MARCH|
|Ireland v Italy Aviva Stadium||13:30|
|England v Wales Twickenham||16:00|
|SUNDAY 13th MARCH|
|Scotland v France Murrayfield||15:00|
|SATURDAY 19th MARCH|
|Wales v Italy Millennium Stadium||14:30|
|Ireland v Scotland Aviva Stadium||17:00|
|France v England Stade de France||20:00|