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BBC teams up with ITV for Six Nations bid

UK public-service broadcaster the BBC has teamed up with commercial broadcaster ITV to submit a joint bid for the rights to the Six Nations rugby union national team tournament.

The bid, according to the Guardian newspaper, is worth £50m (€70.5m/$79m) per year and has been lodged in an effort to keep the tournament on free-to-air television, with pay-television broadcaster Sky also reportedly interested in the rights.

The BBC’s existing rights deal, worth £40m per year, will expire in 2017.

The final round of bidding finished last week, with the BBC submitting an offer on its own that was less than the bid from Sky.

The new joint offer is reported to be higher than Sky’s bid, with the newspaper adding that Sky will “lose out unless it comes back with an 11th-hour, improved offer.”