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BBC and ITV announce Six Nations split

UK public-service broadcaster the BBC and commercial broadcaster ITV have announced their split of matches for the upcoming 2016 Six Nations Championship, which features the national rugby union teams of England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France and Italy.

The BBC will show live coverage of eight matches on an exclusive basis, including the opening matches on Saturday, February 6 – France v Italy and Scotland v England.

The BBC One channel will also show France v Ireland and Wales v Scotland on Saturday, February 13; Wales v France on Friday, February 26; Scotland v France on Sunday, March 13; and Wales v Italy and France v England on Saturday, March 19.

ITV will broadcast Ireland v Wales on Sunday, February 7; Italy v England on Sunday, February 14; Italy v Scotland and England v Ireland on Saturday, February 27; Ireland v Italy and England v Wales on Saturday, March 12; and Ireland v Scotland on Saturday, March 19.

The 2016 tournament marks the first year of a six-year rights cycle, through to 2021, for the BBC and ITV. Until this year, the BBC has had exclusive domestic free-to-air rights for the championship, but a deal for the BBC and ITV to share coverage of the event was announced last July.