25 Jan 2009

Italy slate rugby rights sale as restricting viewership

5:40 pm on 25 January 2009

The Italian Rugby Federation has hit out at Six Nations organisers for selling the 2010-2013 television rights for Italy matches to subscription service Sky.

Six Nations matches have previously been on a free-to-air channel but Sky have taken over thanks to a $24 million bid.

The Italian Rugby Federation president Giancarlo Dondi says not having Italy's Six Nations matches live and on free-to-air television damages their shirt sponsor and those who buy space at the side of the pitch.

He says he respects Sky but it is a bad day for Italian rugby.