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England's defeat to Scotland in Six Nations attracts 8.7m on ITV

The Six Nations rugby clash between England and Scotland reached a peak viewership of 8.7 million for UK broadcaster ITV on Saturday.

England's defeat to Scotland in Six Nations attracts 8.7m on ITV

The game, which saw England fall to defeat against rivals Scotland 6-11, beat the 8.6 million peak in last year's game, shown on the BBC.

ITV added that the audience was the highest ever for a Calcutta Cup match for over a decade, with the Scots securing their first win at Twickenham since 1983.

It was also noted how the coverage was popular amongst younger viewers, which will be welcome news the Rugby authorities determined to grow its popularity in the younger age groups. On average, one million viewers enjoyed the coverage that peaked at 1.3 million.

The Six Nations' time on free-to-air (FTA) television could soon be over, with an investment from CVC Capital Partners looming, rumours continue to circulate about a possible look into improving on the annual rights fee of £90 million that is currently being paid by BBC and ITV.

Sky Sports has been linked with a £300 million move for the Six Nations right cycle, beginning in 2022 following these rumours and the UK governments refusal to add the tournament to a protected list of sporting event that must remain FTA.

Author: Jake Wilkin