Ryle Nugent has responded to RTÉ losing out on Six Nations rights to TV3.
The head of sport and chief rugby commentator has described the news as “extremely disappointing”.
TV3 outbid RTÉ for the rights to the tournament for four years from 2018. Nugent’s statement emphasised the efforts the station has put into the coverage since it began broadcasting the annual competition.
“This is extremely disappointing news for RTÉ. We have a long and proud tradition of showcasing the 6 Nations and putting our heart and soul into our coverage.
“We want to assure the Irish public that every possible effort was made by RTÉ to retain these rights. As a public service broadcaster, RTÉ’s ambition has always been, and continues to be, to deliver the best possible viewer experience and to share moments of major national importance.
“We put forward the best possible bid within our means, while always mindful of the significant responsibilities attached to spending public funds.
“We have a phenomenal year ahead in 2016, with the GAA Championships, the Olympic Games and Euro 2016. We also look forward to delivering the 6 Nations Championship in 2016 and 2017.
“Along with the range of Sports we have already secured and are delivering, we will look to other opportunities in Irish and international sports and remain committed to delivering a comprehensive portfolio of Sport to the Irish public.”