There is a strong possibility that Ireland will not be seen live on terrestrial television again until the Rugby World Cup begins in September.
Sky Sports have secured the rights to Ireland's warm-up games against Scotland (August 15) and Wales (August 29) at the Aviva Stadium.
Sky already possess the rights for England's internationals outside the Six Nations meaning they will he game with the World Cup hosts at Twickenham on September 5.
RTE will show a one-hour highlights package of Ireland’s two home games later in the evening and are looking to negotiate a similar deal for Ireland's trip to Wales for their opening World Cup warm-up in the Millennium Stadium on August 8.
Ireland will also face the Barbarians on May 28 at Thomond Park.
Yesterday, Communications Minister Alex White says he is in favour of adding Six Nations matches to the ‘free-to-air list’ but says no decision has been taken yet.
It is expected the minister will recommend to cabinet that the rugby competition be maintained on terrestrial television after the competition authorities said they would consider offering the coverage to the highest bidder.