Notre Dame Games on YouTube
There is more than 800 hours of unique Notre Dame clips, highlights, extended highlights, condensed games and full games on YouTube. That’s more than a month of continuous content — perfect for this time between the bowl game and the Blue-Gold Game.
Typically, many rights holders have looked the other way while their broadcasts were uploaded to YouTube. That, however, doesn’t make it legal to upload copyrighted material (unless it’s yours).
In 2018, a coordinated effort by networks/copyrights holders resulted in the termination of several large accounts dedicated to uploading college football games. We lost 67 hours of Notre Dame games that were solely on one user’s site during that purge.
In 2020, Notre Dame Athletics also put in copyright claims for a few NBC home broadcasts uploaded by other users, as well as some 2011 and 2012 highlight packages created for Her Loyal Sons. This was done in advance of its rollout of The Vault, which now provides more than 80 complete broadcasts of home games between 1992 and 2020.
Notre Dame also offered its entire 2013 regular season — home and away — as a iTunes “season pass.” The one-year experiment has become the only way to watch that season’s games, since just two are available in full on YouTube currently.
I’m cognizant that publishing a compendium of links is not without potential peril. Copyright holders could use this post as a shortcut to make multiple claims and endanger all those who post college football content. I’m hopeful, however, that those organizations understand that very few users are monetizing their content. Most of us are viewing these for research or scholarship purposes (or merely for our own enjoyment).
We’ve long desired to watch unadulterated broadcasts of old football games and some of us have even expressed a willingness to pay for it, as we do Netflix, Hulu or Apple+.
Notre Dame has been more responsive in the last year to that demand — and has offered it for free. I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to someday access all NBC broadcasted games between 1991 and the present through some sort of Internet application. If The Walt Disney Company wants to make prior year ABC and ESPN broadcasts available as part of ESPN+, Disney+ or via any other mechanism, I’d welcome that too.