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[01/21/10 - 08:35 AM]
BBC America to Broadcast Live Six Nations Rugby Championship
BBC AMERICA's first match will be from London, where England faces off against Wales, on Saturday, February 6.

[via press release from BBC America]

BBC AMERICA TO BROADCAST LIVE SIX NATIONS RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP

RBS Six Nations Championship, one of Europe's biggest annual sporting events, will broadcast live on BBC AMERICA starting Saturday, February 6. The cable channel will broadcast five live matches over the course of the legendary rugby tournament featuring England, Ireland, France, Scotland, Wales and Italy vying for the championship. Last year's winner, Ireland, clinched the championship after a thrilling victory that came down to a missed penalty by Wales, giving the Irish the 17-15 win. BBC AMERICA's first match will be from London, where England faces off against Wales, on Saturday, February 6, 12:00 p.m. ET / 9:00 a.m. PT.

The RBS Six Nations Championship will hold this year's matches in London, Paris, Dublin, Rome, Edinburgh and Cardiff. The home field advantage for the match alternates from year to year between each country's teams. The tournament has every team playing each other once - with two points being awarded for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss. The Six Nations has a total of fifteen matches and the team with the most points wins. Victory in every game results in the team being given the title "Grand Slam" winner. There is also the title of "Triple Crown" competed for each year, which is awarded if a team from the four Home Nations (England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales) beats each of the other three Home Nations.

Last year, Ireland ended a 61-year wait for a "Grand Slam" with its championship that also was a "Triple Crown." This year, can England return to its glory days? Will Wales climb back to the top after a disappointing fourth place finish last year? With the most victories in the past decade (five), can France once again dominate? Or is it in the cards for Scotland and Italy to win their first Six Nations championships?

This acclaimed tournament began in 1883 as the Home Nations Championship but was renamed the Five Nations when France joined in 1910. Italy joined the tournament ten years ago, making it the Six Nations.

SCHEDULE

Wales versus England (in London)

Saturday, February 6, 12:00 p.m. ET / 9:00 a.m. PT

2009's Champion Ireland versus France (in Paris)

Saturday, February 13, 11:30 a.m. ET / 8:30 a.m. PT

Ireland versus England (in London)

Saturday, February 27, 11:00 a.m. ET / 8:00 a.m. PT

Wales versus Ireland (in Dublin)

Saturday, March 13, 9:30 a.m. ET/ 7:30 a.m. PT

England versus France (in Paris)

Saturday, March 20, 9:00 a.m. ET / 6:00 a.m. PT

BBC AMERICA brings audiences a new generation of award-winning television featuring news with a uniquely global perspective, provocative dramas, razor-sharp comedies, life-changing makeovers and a whole new world of nonfiction. BBC AMERICA pushes the boundaries to deliver high quality, highly addictive and eminently watchable programming to viewers who demand more. It is available on digital cable and satellite TV in more than 65 million homes.

FAST SIX NATIONS FACTS (http://www.rbs6nations.com)

� In 1871, England and Scotland played the first rugby union international.

� In 1883, the Home International Championship, comprising England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales was played.

� In 1910, France officially joined the competition and coined the phrase "Five Nations."

� In 2000, Italy joined the competition and the tournament became known as the "Six Nations Championship."

� Played annually, the format of the Championship is simple: each team plays every other team once, with home field advantage alternating from one year to the next. Two points are awarded for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss. Unlike most other rugby union competitions the bonus point system is not used.

� Victory in every game results in a 'Grand Slam'. Back to back Grand Slams have been achieved on five occasions, by Wales in 1908/1909, by England in 1913/1914, 1923/1924 and 1991/1992 and by France in 1997/1998. England holds the record for the number of Grand Slams won with 12, followed by Wales with 9, France with 8, Scotland with 3 and Ireland with 1.

� Victory by any Home Nation over the other three Home Nations is a 'Triple Crown'. The Triple Crown has twice been won on four consecutive occasions, once by Wales in 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1979 and once by England in 1995, 1996, 1997, and 1998. England hold the record for the number of Triple Crowns won with 23, followed by Wales with 18, Scotland with 10 and Ireland with 9. Although this achievement has long been a feature of the tournament, it was not until 2006 that a physical trophy, commissioned by the Royal Bank of Scotland, was awarded.

� The last-placed nation at the end of the tournament is said to have won the (purely figurative) Wooden Spoon.





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