Pro14 in talks with investors about exploiting its commercial rights

Private equity companies are reproof the Guinness Pro14 board regarding finance within the tournament as a part of their strategy to use untapped broadcasting financial gain in sport.

The Pro14 suspended the talks last year as it negotiated a television agreement with Premier Sports, but when CVC’s interest in the Premiership became public, it rekindled the interest of some of the unions. Wales, Scotland and South Africa are open to the idea of outside investment, while not being prepared to concede control. Ireland still have to be convinced.

“The fact that there is such an interest in rugby can only be good for the sport. What is also heartening is that the companies we have spoken to see their involvement beyond the short term. They are talking about being involved for between eight and 12 years and anticipate being able to make a decent return in that time.”

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