With the Big Ten going to be striking it big with their new media rights deals, all eyes have turned to what the independent Notre Dame will do in this new age of watching college football. A lot of questions surround whether the money will drive Notre Dame football towards the cash cows of the SEC or Big Ten, but the Irish don’t appear to want to waiver.
Notre Dame has been in negotiations with NBC, with whom it has its current contract with. NBC has exclusive rights to Notre Dame, but they are also set to strike a deal with the Big Ten. If anything, that has opened up Notre Dame to bid a higher contract, with current estimates projecting anywhere from $60-75 million once its current contract expires in 2025. With their current contract, the Fighting Irish bring in $25 million each year.
This won’t bring Notre Dame any closer to joining a conference, but with NBC in deals with the Big Ten now, it could reintroduce some classic rivalries much sooner. As it currently stands, Michigan and Notre Dame are set to play again in 2033. The last contest between the two schools was in 2019. Now with the new expected deal between NBC and the Big Ten, the possibility of the two schools playing before 2033 became much more of a reality. It would also open Notre Dame to a lot more Big Ten games.
Notre Dame is currently set to face Ohio State and future Big Ten member USC this season. With a rivalry with both USC and Michigan, expect to see new developments once the Fighting Irish settle their new media contract deal with NBC. Fourteen years is a long time to wait for a historic rivalry game, so the notion they could play much sooner bodes well for both fans and NBC’s viewership totals.
Nothing is finalized for the Irish as of yet, as they’ll likely put more money on the table in the time they have left to negotiate, though it’s difficult to predict what the media-sphere will look like in three years. As it looks now, they will remain independent with their other sports remaining in the ACC.