Report: Notre Dame's extension with NBC would reaffirm independence, lead to schedule changes
If Notre Dame inks an extension to its media rights deal with NBC, it would likely result in the Irish remaining independent, according to a report.
That’s per the Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand, who noted Tuesday morning that Notre Dame is looking at a deal worth approximately $60 million annually from NBC.
Per Ourand’s report, Notre Dame would “obviously” remain independent if its able to finalize a deal with NBC. Notre Dame’s current contract expires in 2025.
That would be a significant increase from its current deal, which reportedly pays out approximately $15 million annually. The deal is reportedly backloaded, so Notre Dame is pulling in closer to $25 million over the remaining years on the deal.
While it’s less than the $75 million annually that Notre Dame was reportedly targeting in negotiations, it would seemingly be enough for Notre Dame to maintain its independence.
NBC is expected to be a partner for the Big Ten in its next television contract, which could be finalized in the coming days or weeks. Per Swarbrick, NBC’s association with the Big Ten is a good thing for the Fighting Irish.
That’s where the biggest change could come in for Notre Dame fans. Per Ourand’s report, Notre Dame’s schedule could start to include more Big Ten matchups in the coming seasons. Ourand specifically named Michigan as a potential partner for the Fighting Irish. The teams aren’t currently scheduled to meet again until 2033.
Other staples to Notre Dame’s schedule — such as Navy and Stanford — would potentially be in jeopardy. As Ourand notes, games against the Midshipmen “traditionally” bring in lower ratings. Notre Dame is schedule to play Navy every season through 2032. Its current contract with Stanford runs through 2024.
Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick recently listed its media rights partner as a top factor in whether or not Notre Dame will ultimately join a conference. Access to the expanded College Football Playoff was another listed factor.