A couple years ago we were asking a lot of questions about the future of sports television and how Notre Dame would fit in to the ever-evolving landscape and rising payouts for college football.
Would Notre Dame walk away from its relationship with NBC?
The answer today came in the form of a resounding no as the University and NBC Sports Group signed a 10-year extension effective to begin in the 2016 season.
Per the extension, which begins with the 2016 season, the NBC Sports Group retains global media rights on all platforms to a minimum of seven Notre Dame home football games per year, with the vast majority airing on NBC. It also allows for games to air on NBC Sports Network. As it has since 2009, NBC Sports Digital will continue to live stream Fighting Irish home games.
Let the hand wringing begin over some games being on NBC Sports Network. Does it matter anymore?
"Coming off one of Notre Dame's best and most dramatic seasons in decades, we could not be more proud to extend this historic partnership, which continues to be one of the most innovative in sports-media history," said Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports Group. "We are particularly excited that this extension offers enhanced rights that allow us to bring Notre Dame Football to fans on more platforms than ever before."
We're still wondering what those 'more platforms' are, right? Is it simply moving some content (and apparently some games) to NBC Sports Network?
Revenues from the NBC partnership have played a key role in Notre Dame's financial aid endowment since the start of the relationship in 1991 when University officers allocated a portion of the football television contract revenue for undergraduate scholarship endowment (not athletic scholarships). To date, some 6,300 Notre Dame undergraduate students have received nearly $80 million in aid from revenue generated through the NBC contract.
Wow, that's a lot of money going toward education. I'm impressed. Has this money ever been talked about in the past?
Who among us is not happy with this news?