Notre Dame and NBC Extend Media Partnership
The face of college football is changing next season, as schools and conferences realign to chase the millions of dollars being offered by television networks.
Then there is Notre Dame, which has always been independent, and it looks like they will remain that way at least through the rest of this decade.
Notre Dame and NBC announced over the weekend that their media rights agreement has been extended through 2029. The deal has been in place since 1991, and it is the longest media partnership in college sports history. It gives NBC exclusive rights to all Notre Dame home football games, a full season of Notre Dame hockey coverage, and an annual Notre Dame football documentary series to air on NBC’s streaming service, Peacock.
“We are thrilled to continue our historic collaboration with our partners at NBC Sports,” said Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick. “In the next generation of this partnership, we will collaborate to provide our fans even more Notre Dame content through a variety of NBCUniversal’s distribution channels, while continuing to put our student-athletes and their stories at the heart of our messaging.”
Notre Dame football is also available on Sky Sports in the UK, even as the UK’s college football coverage was blacked out for most of this season because an agreement with ESPN expired.
Not being beholden to a conference, but staying in the spotlight so they can potentially compete for national championships, is of utmost importance to Notre Dame. Independence also gives them the freedom to play their traditional rivals each year, like USC, Navy, and Stanford. This Saturday, they play at Stanford, and BetUS.com has the Irish as 25-point favorites.
As college football seems to be consolidating its power and money into two conference – the SEC and Big Ten – this new deal with NBC keeps Notre Dame competitive. As long as Notre Dame can stay within $10 million to $15 million of what other top programs are getting, they feel comfortable with their position in the college football hierarchy. This deal does that at more than $25 million annually.
Notre Dame played Ohio State to within three points, they easily handled USC, and they are headed into this weekend’s game at Stanford coming off a 45-7 win over Wake Forest. And all of that has made them the fourth-most watched team in 2023, trailing only Alabama, Ohio State, and Colorado.
Notre Dame Good for Sportsbooks
Because of the number of regular viewers of Notre Dame football, there is a large amount of betting interest on Notre Dame. They are also a regular betting favorite at Indiana brick-and-mortar sportsbooks.
The weekend they beat USC, even giving points, the majority of the money was on the Irish. And even at +2800 to win the national championship when the season began, 3% of all college football futures bets were on Notre Dame. Georgia, with its back-to-back national championships, was just ahead of Notre Dame at 4%.
Notre Dame ranks 19th in the most recent College Football Playoff rankings, and that has them off the board at football online sportsbooks on making the final playoff group of four teams. But next year, the field expands to 12 teams, and the Irish would still be very much in the running if that had been implemented today.
At the moment, Notre Dame is projected to face LSU in the ReliaQuest Bowl on January 1 in Tampa, Florida.