Six Nations Rugby, the body that arranges the centralised distribution of broadcast rights for the rugby union tournament’s constituent countries, has extended its partnership with the UK-based sports marketing agency Pitch International for the sale of international media rights.
The renewal, which extends a relationship that began in 2010 into a fourth term lasting until 2025, will see Pitch continue its representation of the wider rights portfolio of the Six Nations.
In addition to the men’s, women’s, and Under-20s Six Nations tournaments, the deal includes the Autumn Nations Series and World Cup Warm-up matches for all six unions – England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy.
For the last renewal between the Six Nations and Pitch in 2017, at which point the agency saw off competition from IMG-Discovery, the four-year deal was worth around €24 million ($28 million), or €6 million a year.
Last week it was announced that Pitch had negotiated a deal to give FloSports, the US-based over-the-top live sports subscription service, the exclusive rights to stream the upcoming men’s and women’s Autumn Nations Series' in the US.
The extension will also see Pitch continue to manage the content archive of the Six Nations.
Elsewhere, Pitch also distributes the international rights for Premiership Rugby, English rugby union’s top-tier league.
Henri Kamerling, managing director of rugby, soccer and global partnerships at Pitch International, said: “Over the past decade we have worked in tandem with the Six Nations and its unions to significantly grow revenues, international distribution and fan engagement for all championships.
“This new agreement gives us the opportunity to build on our strong rugby foundations and create a roadmap for future growth. In this cycle we are able to go to market representing all of northern hemisphere rugby in one package of rights for the first time, which we believe will be a hugely exciting proposition for our international broadcast partners.”
Ben Morel, chief executive of Six Nations Rugby, added: “Our joint approach has been to focus on taking international rugby to previously untapped territories and fans, as well as the traditional rugby markets.
“As a result, both the men’s and women’s tournaments have flourished on the international stage.”