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Is the Big 10 going to join Notre Dame Football on NBC?

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Maybe

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 11 Toledo at Notre Dame Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

For 31 seasons, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have been the exclusive major college football team on NBC. In 1991, one of the most unique broadcast deals in sports history began with NBC having exclusive home rights to Notre Dame football games. While the network has done a small handful of other college football products throughout these past three decades (IVY, Gator Bowl, and HBCU), everyone knows that Notre Dame and NBC are basically married.

But that might change.

It’s being reported by Front Office Sports that NBC is going to “make a run” to get the Big 10 media rights — effectively changing the entire dynamic of Notre Dame on NBC.

NBC views the combination of the Big Ten along with its existing deal with Notre Dame football as the “perfect one-two punch,” said one source. With its $100 million-per-year deal with the NHL off the books, NBC has the cash and ambition to boost its college portfolio.

Before you start to bemoan having to share a space with the like of Rutgers, Ohio State, Purdue, Nebraska, and others — give this entire scenario some broader consideration. While the clean line of “Notre Dame’s own broadcast network,” was a fun thing to say in the 1990’s, it really doesn’t make as much impact in the year of our lord 2022. Everyone is everywhere.

The problem with NBC over the years is that with just Notre Dame on the docket, they never really pushed a strong college football narrative on the network — which made the Notre Dame broadcasts more and more hollow. I’m not rooting for this deal to get done by NBC and the Big 10, but I can envision some positives for the future of Notre Dame football on a bigger college football platform. Plus, there’s the added bonus of lessening ESPN’s influence on the sport — which is damn near a stranglehold at the moment.

Still... this would likely mean a much heavier dose of NBC’s Peacock Network. NBC killed off its NBC Sports Channel in an effort to beef up subscriptions for Peacock, which takes away a television channel for its use. Any deal with the Big 10 would likely mean more CFB games on Peacock, and I’m not sure exactly how much that will affect Notre Dame games in the future.

Is NBC going to land the Big 10? I can’t say for sure, but live athletics is the big money maker in the television world, and NBC wants to increase its inventory. How much FOX, ESPN, and even CBS plan on pushing for the rights still remains to be seen.

Poll

Would you be fine if NBC added the Big 10?

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    Yep
    (280 votes)
  • 45%
    Nope
    (293 votes)
  • 11%
    OPE!
    (74 votes)
647 votes total Vote Now