Notre Dame will not join the Big Ten after its new media rights, but to the victors go the spoils.
With NBC getting into the Big Ten football business, don’t be shocked if Notre Dame starts playing regional rival Michigan with greater regularity going forward.
John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reported Notre Dame could be getting upwards of $75 million annually once it renegotiates its next TV contract. The Irish’s current media rights deal with NBC garners them roughly $25 million per year will run through 2025. Although Notre Dame will prefer to remain independent at all costs, re-upping with NBC will mean more Michigan games.
The Golden Domers’ next scheduled game vs. the Wolverines will be in 2033 as it currently stands.
A new NBC TV deal means Notre Dame will play Michigan with greater regularly
Because the Irish play most of their other team sports in the ACC, they have a loose affiliation with that conference when it comes to scheduling. This has allowed them to play historic rivals like Boston College, Georgia Tech and Miami with a bit more regularity than prior to joining the ACC for basketball reasons after the old Big East fell apart. However, the Big Ten is a freaking cash cow…
Because NBC will have rights to Big Ten and Notre Dame games should the Irish re-up with their current broadcasting partner, it makes things incredibly obvious for the network from a programming perspective. Not only will the Irish play regional rivals like Michigan and Purdue with greater regularity, but guess who is joining the Big Ten in two seasons? Their bitter football rival, USC!
Where things do get a tad complex when it comes to future TV rights is this. The Big Ten is not going to be partners with Disney here shortly, opting to go in deeper with FOX, as well as beginning to do business with NBC and CBS. If Notre Dame stays independent, it will still have that loose affiliation with the ACC, which with the SEC, will air most of its games on Disney properties.
If Notre Dame wants to keep working with NBC, expect for the Michigan rivalry to be renewed.