BBC loses Pro14 rights after being outbid by Irish station

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Live terrestrial coverage of the Guinness Pro14 will end next season after the BBC admitted it had failed to reach agreement to continue with the broadcasting rights.

It is understood that the national broadcaster has been outbid by Irish subscription channel Premier Sports.

The Guinness Pro14 will be lost to terrestrial television next season. Picture: Billy Stickland/�INPHO

The Guinness Pro14 will be lost to terrestrial television next season. Picture: Billy Stickland/�INPHO

It means that Glasgow and Edinburgh games next season will no longer be available live on BBC Alba, or the corporation’s Northern Irish and Welsh regional stations. Aside from the satellite broadcasters, such as Sky Sports, the only terrestrial live element to the broadcast deal will be the occasional match on Welsh language station S4C.

A statement from BBC Wales said: “We know there will be a real disappointment at this outcome among hundreds of thousands of rugby fans who have enjoyed live free-to-air coverage on the BBC over many years.”

A statement from the tournament organisers read: “Pro14 Rugby is currently concluding negotiations for these rights ahead of the 2018/19 season and will confirm the final position to partners and supporters once the formal agreements are in place.”

The BBC hopes to be able to continue to offer highlights.