The Six Nations will remain 'free-to-air' on Irish television following an agreement between RTE, Virgin Media and Six Nations organisers.
Virgin have had Six Nations rights in Ireland since 2018, but under this new agreement some matches will return to the national broadcaster from 2022.
While the final terms have yet to be agreed, matches will be shared in a "balanced way" with Virgin showing games from the women's tournament and the Under-20s for the first time.
"I am delighted that we have agreed the principles of a unique three-party partnership with Virgin Media and RTÉ, and that they have chosen the Six Nations to build such a strong and compelling collaboration around all our competitions which will be to the benefit of our sport, our unions and of Rugby fans in Ireland," said Ben Morel, Chief Executive of Six Nations Rugby.
IRFU CEO Philip Browne added: "Rugby is a participation sport and one that has always, and will always, strive to ensure a balance between finance and exposure. It is a win-win for all involved to have the future of all three Championships move through the contact stages with partners that have a history of showcasing our game.
"How we, and our broadcast partners, present our game is important, not only for the hear-and-now of the viewers sitting down together to watch a particular game, but for those who may be inspired to take up the ball and play in schools and clubs. We look forward to working with both Virgin Media and RTÉ on the promotion of our great game across men’s and women’s rugby."
Bizarrre stuff. Connacht tear out of the blocks like men on a mission; then Leinster catch up in record time and slap them about the place. So the prospect of Andy Friend’s side adding Leinster to their last-gasp win over Ulster in this Rainbow Cup was demolished. In fairness to his side they had built it up, with a 16-0 lead after 13 minutes. Then it got shredded.