News in Brief
Six Nations chief seeks TV rights re-vamp
Six Nations chief executive John Feehan wants a more competitive market for broadcast rights
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- Six Nations chief executive John Feehan has called for a change to the TV 'listing' system in the UK that he believes diminishes the value of the broadcasting rights.
Under the listing system that preserves some sporting events for free-to-air providers, the Six Nations is on the 'B List', which guarantees only free-to-air highlights for games involving the home nations. This effectively rules out a deal for live matches with a pay-per-view broadcaster because of the lack of exclusivity.
"We would much prefer to be de-listed because [the event] is fundamental to the financial position of all of the British unions and the Irish union," Feehan told the Daily Telegraph. "Just because you are a national broadcaster, it doesn't mean you should have a divine right to things. The listing stifles the market and stifles the sport."
The BBC currently hold exclusive rights to broadcast the Championship in the UK up to and including the 2013 Six Nations.
- The Millennium Stadium could host both of the 2008/09 Heineken Cup semi-finals - if Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys qualify for the last four.
ERC, the tournament organisers, have selected three potential semi-final venues for the matches to be played on the weekend of 2/3 May. And if the Blues beat Toulouse at the Millennium Stadium in the opening quarter-final and the Ospreys knock-out Munster at Thomond Park, then the Millennium Stadium will host both semi-finals on successive days placing Cardiff at the centre of European rugby.
Croke Park has already been announced as the arena if Munster qualify to play either Harlequins or Leinster with the Municipal Stadium in Toulouse on standby if the triple Heineken Cup winners go through to face English opposition in the shape of either Leicester Tigers or Bath Rugby.
- The Reds are reportedly resigned to losing Super 14 import Daniel Braid at the end of the season. AAP reports that the 28-year-old New Zealander is expected to confirm a big-money move to Europe with Magners League side Scarlets thought to be his destination.
- Leinster fly-half Jonathan Sexton has had his appeal against suspension for kicking Munster's Lefeimi Mafi dismissed by the Irish Rugby Football Union Disciplinary Appeals Committee. His original two-week ban was confirmed and Sexton will be free to play again on Thursday, April 23.