The parliamentary DCMS Committee has written to the Secretary of State requesting the Six Nations Rugby tournament is given Category A listed status.
Doing so would mean the competition would be ensured free-to-air-coverage.
In the UK, the Six Nations is currently broadcast by both the BBC and ITV with the top matches split between the two broadcasters.
There are concerns that the event might otherwise be sold to a pay-TV broadcaster, Sky, BT Sports or new entrant DAZN with UK terrestrial broadcasters left with just highlights.
The formal request follows a failure by the Six Nations Council to give a clear answer to questions from the DCMS Committee about whether it had held discussions with the government about moving the tournament from Category B.
DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight MP said: “We’re pleased that in response to our letters, Six Nations has confirmed that joint bids from broadcasters are now being considered. When we put this to Lord Hall yesterday, he confirmed that the BBC had put in a bid that would involve a sub-license with ITV.
“We welcome the BBC’s acknowledgment and thanks for the role this committee has played in the debate, including the step we’ve taken to formally request that DCMS Secretary of State Oliver Dowden considers moving the Six Nations from Category B to Category A of listed sports.
The Six Nations Council has confirmed that bids allowing a broadcaster to share rights with another will be permitted in the bidding process for television rights.