Hallett backs terrestrial TV agreement

Rugby Union
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The Independent Online
The secretary of the Rugby Football Union, Tony Hallett, yesterday said the sport wished to keep a terrestrial television link with the Five Nations tournament,.

He was talking in the face of reports that BSkyB had made a pounds 175m bid for exclusive rights to the competition. BSkyB already shows highlights, but the BBC has the live rights in a contract which has a year and a half to run.

Hallett said that he had had approaches from the satellite station, but he said: "Our plan will be to hold off selling the rights to just one television group.

"We know that Sky will probably outbid the others, but we will not necessarily take the highest price."

Hallett's comments will lead to speculation that the RFU will be looking to a deal similar in form to the one the Premier League last negotiated with the broadcasters. Sources close to Sky yesterday confirmed it was interested in bidding but declined to comment further.