BBC-ITV Six Nations deal 'important' for Welsh rugby says John Taylor

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BBC Wales director Rhodri Talfan Davies said the deal had "secured the future of Welsh rugby for the next six years"

Former Wales and British Lions flanker and rugby broadcaster John Taylor thinks the new Six Nations TV deal is good for the game.

The BBC and ITV have won the rights to broadcast rugby's Six Nations competition for the next six years.

Taylor, who has been ITV's Rugby World Cup commentator, thinks it is important the sport remains on terrestrial television.

"In terms of the importance to the game, it's brilliant," said Taylor.

"I think it's often underestimated how important it is to be free-to-air as it were, so the whole nation can see it.

"In somewhere like Wales, where we need that stimulus, it really counts, because there is no question audiences suffer when you go over to Sky or BT."

WRU chairman Gareth Davies

Almost 10 million people watched the finale of the 2015 Six Nations on the BBC.

The new joint broadcasting deal runs from the 2016.

All of Wales' home matches will be shown live on the BBC, along with France and Scotland home matches.

ITV will screen England, Ireland and Italy home games.

A statement on the website of Welsh language channel S4C also stated: "Championship games which are broadcast by the BBC will also be broadcast in Welsh on S4C.

John Taylor and Gavin Henson
John Taylor was London Welsh managing director when they signed Gavin Henson in July, 2012

"Any further rights will be a matter for negotiations."

Taylor, who commentated on the 2003 Rugby World Cup final for ITV, is amazed that the two rival broadcasters are now working together.

"I'm quite amazed," he said.

"In my day, not as a player but as a broadcaster, it was 'never the Twain shall meet' and we were head-to-head for everything.

"The idea of cooperation was something that never came into it.

"In the last year you've already seen the precursor to it with a few of the presenters crossing over, working on both ITV and for the BBC and it seems a complete change of culture now."

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