Live Guinness PRO14 rugby won't be shown by BBC next season in a major blow to the corporation.

The BBC failed to come to terms on a new agreement for the cross-border tournament, which is set to welcome new pay-TV broadcast partners, thought to be Premier Sports .

BBC 2 currently shows a live regional game each weekend. The BBC also provide extensive radio coverage of the competition and had hoped to be one of the PRO14's broadcast partners again in 2018-19.

BBC hope to offer a highlights package on a Sunday evening and say they will be seeking discussions with tournament bosses.

The PRO14 have issued a statement, saying: "After the successful expansion into South Africa the Guinness PRO14 is continuing to grow in strength with unprecedented interest leading to rising attendances, increased broadcast viewers and an upsurge in social media engagement.

"As PRO14 Rugby plans for the exciting seasons ahead, the Championship has overseen a highly-competitive tender process with multiple Pay and Free to Air operators across the UK & Republic of Ireland bidding for the broadcast rights in those territories.

"PRO14 Rugby is currently concluding negotiations for these rights ahead of the 2018/19 season and will confirm the final position to partners and supporters once the formal agreements are in place."

Operated by the Luxembourg-registered Premier Media, itís a subscription sports channel which has been running since 2009. Customers will have to pay £9.99 a month to subscribe.