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Moments in the Six Nations Championship’s history

Explore the Reuters archives as we reach the Guinness Six Nations 2019 finals

By Clare Cavanagh, Reuters Community | Mar 15, 2019

It’s been an exciting six weeks for rugby fans and all eyes will be on the annual Guinness 6 Nations Rugby Championship as the final weekend approaches. Its place in the yearly calendar has always been recognized as taking a step from winter into spring, and the buzz around it is heating up. Audiences will tune in to watch England, Wales and Ireland compete for the Championship trophy but first, let’s take a look at the key moments through Reuters Connect.

This tournament has developed significant entertainment value in the European sport calendar and attracts viewers who love rugby, and even those who don’t. It’s become a celebratory season for people of all ages, wearing their home-country shirts with pride.

Observing the camaraderie in viewing the Six Nations spurred big discussions around the broadcast rights for the event.

The BBC originally had exclusive rights until they secured an alliance with ITV to share coverage of the Championship in 2016. For the first time, Sky had been invited to bid for the rights but this new partnership ensured that the event would continue to be shown on terrestrial television. Since this deal was made, new ways of using digital data captured from this tournament have proven to build understanding of the game and enhance viewings.

In 2019, there has been a strong focus on how the tournament embraces technology to engage with audiences. Amazon Web Services (AWS), the new Official Technology Partner of the Guinness Six Nations, drives on-screen engagement as it releases match data and statistics using its own analytics to inform and entice viewers. They provide match data, statistics, talking points and simple explanations of the game.

The capabilities of AWS have allowed for the introduction of new statistics for this year’s Championships – scrum analysis, play patterns, try origins, team trends, ruck analysis, tackle analysis, and field position analysis. What does this all mean for viewers? Real-time information predicting the success of a tactic based on historical data, player data and pack data.

Successfully seeking innovation has evolved how fans experience the game, and helped reach new geographies – an important objective for Rugby Union.

As technology brings a new level of excitement for the Guinness 6 Nations fans this year, providing new ways to not just view but also participate from afar, we can’t wait to see what next year will bring.

In the meantime, let’s prepare to tune in to watch the final day by exploring Reuters Connect for all the best images from the last six weeks.