Six Nations handed £365m lifeline by investors CVC Capital

Six Nations handed £365m lifeline by investors CVC Capital as rugby tournament sells 14.5 per cent of commercial rights with five-year deal to be confirmed later this month

  • Six Nations is set for a much-needed cash boost with sale of commercial rights 
  • 14.5 per cent of their rights will be sold to CVC Capital partners for £365million
  • Sportsmail has learned that all the details of a five-year deal have been agreed 

The Six Nations is set for a much-needed cash boost with the sale of 14.5 per cent of their commercial rights for £365million to CVC Capital partners to be completed later this month. 

Sportsmail has learned that all the major details of a five-year deal between the unions and the private equity firm have been agreed and an announcement is expected before the start of this year’s tournament.

The RFU will receive the biggest share of CVC’s investment with a payment of around £70m split over five years due to the strength of the English market, closely followed by France and then the rest of the home unions, with minnows Italy getting the smallest pay-out. 

The Six Nations is set for a cash boost with the sale of 14.5 per cent of their commercial rights

A five-year deal worth £365m with CVC Capital partners will be completed later this month

The value of the deal has remained the same throughout the two-year negotiating period despite the impact of the pandemic, although CVC have insisted on a so-called Covid-clause enabling them to defer payments if fixtures are cancelled due to the virus.

CVC are understood to have insisted that this year’s Six Nations stay in its usual position in the calendar despite the disruption being caused to the fixture list, which was exacerbated yesterday by the suspension of the European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup creating an unwanted two-week circuit breaker in the season. 

The 2021 Championship will begin as planned with England’s Calcutta Cup clash with Scotland on 6 February, an arrangement that also suits the domestic broadcasters BBC and ITV.

CVC are understood to have insisted that this year’s Six Nations will take place as usual

CVC’s investment will give them considerable influence over all the Six Nations’ commercial activity relating to both the Championship and the Autumn internationals, particularly the negotiations over the next broadcast rights deal, which is likely to see more matches screened on subscription channels after next year. 

The only remaining issue to resolve before contracts are signed is the payment structure of the initial tax bill which the deal will incur for the unions at a time when they are without any match-day of hospitality income, although that is not thought to be a major sticking point for any of the parties involved.

The RFU are projecting losses of up to £145m due to the pandemic with chief executive Bill Sweeney warning it could take up to five years for them to recover so the completion of the CVC deal is timely. 

The RFU are projecting losses of up to £145m due to the current coronavirus pandemic




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