Published On: Sun, Mar 3rd, 2024

Six Nations LIVE: England camp ‘frustrated’ over alarming Steve Borthwick training session | Rugby | Sport

Former England star and broadcaster Martin Bayfield has insisted that the Six Nations must remain on free-to-air TV, but improvements are also necessary.

Rumours had suggested that the tournament could be taken behind a paywall, having not been added to the UK Government’s protected sporting events.

Bayfield wants the competition to remain on terrestrial TV, but on one station. 

“Rugby just can’t hide away and only jump out from behind a tree and say, ‘Here we are!’ and then disappear again. It needs oxygen otherwise it is just going to fail,” said Bayfield to The Telegraph.

“The Six Nations has to be free-to-air and has to be one platform so you have one focus, one message, one tone. I don’t know if I am too old-fashioned, but I want to be able to hear the theme tune and think, ‘That’s the Six Nations’ and walk in from the other room to watch.

“You have to have a good build-up but even more important is having good analysis afterwards, and access to the game through the week. Every Six Nations game should be like a mini Super Bowl. You have press conferences, you have interviews with players, and superstars who enjoy rugby.

“We also need to embrace new media to capture every age group because that is what rugby is about. At the moment the only people who seem to be doing it are podcasters. They have access to these people, why aren’t the TV companies doing that?

“But if it remains on terrestrial TV, they have to give it the full works, not just a brief build-up and then five minutes after the game before saying that they are off to the Ant and Dec show. It has got to be given that continual narrative all the way through so having it on one channel would be so much better.”

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