The BBC, the UK’s public service broadcaster, has retained audio rights to cover rugby union’s Six Nations, the European national teams’ tournament, between 2022 and 2025.

Every match during the Six Nations which features a ‘home nation’ – England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland – will be broadcast live either on BBC Radio 5 Live or on 5 Live Sports Extra for those four years while all commentaries will also be available online via BBC Sounds.

The BBC has held exclusive live radio broadcasting rights for the Six Nations, which features the four teams listed above as well as France and Italy, during recent cycles.

This extension adds to the one struck by the corporation for TV rights to the tournament in May this year, when the BBC and commercial network ITV agreed to extensions, also until 2025, to cover all games live on free-to-air TV for the next four years.

That deal will see ITV cover the home fixtures of England, Ireland, Italy and France, while the BBC will only have the home games of Scotland and Wales.

Under the previous six-year deal that expired at the end of this year’s tournament, the BBC showed the home matches of Scotland, Wales and France, while ITV had those of England, Ireland and Italy.

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In previous cycles, the TV and radio rights have been allocated at the same time, but this time the BBC did not opt to make a simultaneous offer for both sets, instead choosing to wait before dipping back in for the radio package.

Ben Morel, Six Nations Rugby’s chief executive, has said: “Live sport on the radio is a fantastic listener experience and we are delighted to extend our partnership with the BBC.

“They have been a tremendous supporter of the Six Nations for many years and we look forward to them sharing many more special moments.”

Barbara Slater, the BBC’s director of sport, added: “The Six Nations remaining free-to-air, across both BBC TV and radio, is excellent news for rugby fans across the UK.”

The 2022 Six Nations will begin on 5 February, as Ireland take on Wales and Scotland face England.

The extension comes as welcome news for the BBC after it was announced earlier this week that TalkSport, the commercial radio broadcaster, had agreed to a three-year UK audio rights deal for the Autumn Internationals, the series where Northern Hemisphere sides play host to heavyweight Southern Hemisphere nations such as New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

The BBC had held these rights on a long-term basis during previous cycles, with 5 Live having covered those high-profile games exclusively up until this point, and the loss of the rights represents a significant blow to the broadcaster’s overall rugby union portfolio.

This year’s Autumn Internationals, starting early next month, will mark the first time TalkSport broadcasts the series live, following its coverage of the British and Irish Lions’ tour of South Africa earlier this year.

A total of 50 Autumn International matches will be broadcast exclusively on TalkSport over the next three years, with live commentary for 16 fixtures this season, including England taking on Tonga, Australia and then South Africa.