The Notre Dame Fighting Irish played their first ever football game on the USA Network this past fall when the too on the South Florida Bulls in a 52-0 win. It was a fun little week as many of joked around about “Characters Welcome” and other such things. Seeing the news today... there may be more of that in the future.
According to Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand, NBC plans on shutting down NBCSN by the end of the year.
Here's a link to SBD's story on NBC's decision to shut down NBCSN. https://t.co/N7LCVfkxjf— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) January 22, 2021
Notre Dame football has that famed contract with NBC that stretches back to the 1991 season, which makes it basically a part of the institution rather than just another media outlet. That kind of relationship has helped extend other coverage of Notre Dame athletics over on NBCSN — most notably Notre Dame hockey. NBCSN has also been the home for the annual Blue-Gold Spring game since 2015.
Over the last decade and a half, NBCSN’s college football inventory has dwindled tremendously from having rights to PAC-12 games and the Mountain West, to almost exclusively just the IVY. Being able to move a Notre Dame football game to the network on several occasions kept up the appearance of a strong brand (Miami-Ohio 2017 & Boston College 2015 for example).
Notre Dame was not mentioned a single time in the SBJ article, but that doesn’t mean that this won’t affect the University on some way in the future. For many Notre Dame fans, all this really means is that should the Irish play a game on the USA Network, there will be more homes available to see the broadcast. In no way should we expect the 2023 game against the Ohio State Buckeyes to be on USA Network — but I also wouldn’t mind it either.
If there are any updates on these moves in the future, especially plans with Notre Dame hockey, I will be sure to update.