The BBC is at risk of losing the rights to broadcast Six Nations.
The cost of broadcasting one of rugby’s biggest tournaments could see the broadcaster go out of business and see its revenues fall.
Outgoing BBC director Barbara Slater said “incredibly difficult” decisions had to be made.
The company’s sales fell by 30 percent.
Rugby’s Six Nations is not on the list of protected sporting tournaments that the BBC always wants to show and could therefore be axed.
The World Cup, Wimbledon and the Olympic Games are there.
There have been reports that a new Rugby World League could be created and TV rights with the Six Nations could be sold as part of the deal.
If this happens, the BBC would find it even more difficult to afford to broadcast the sport, which has been on free television since 2003.
Their current agreement to broadcast the Six Nations ends in 2025.
Slater said: “We need a well-funded BBC if we are to continue to afford sports rights.”
“Sports rights in the UK have more than doubled in the last decade.
“It is incredibly difficult for the BBC to meet the expectations of these governing bodies across a range of sports.
“With the Six Nations, as with everything else, we have to assess the affordability at this point in time.
“Because with this income trend it is very difficult for the BBC to continue to afford everything we have.”
“The truth is we are unlikely to be the highest bidder and it will be up to individual governing bodies how they balance that reach and revenue.”
THIS IS AN EVOLVING STORY…
The Sun is your destination for the best football, boxing and MMA news, real-life stories, stunning pictures and must-see videos.
Like us on Facebook at and follow us via our main Twitter account at @TheSunFootball.