NBC bets on ND to turn it around

June 19, 2008
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
UNDlepNotre Dame is renewing its television contract with NBC.

The university and NBC announced today they have agreed on a five-year deal that runs through the 2015 season. The current contract—which paid Notre Dame $9 million annually—was scheduled to expire in 2010. Sources close to the network said the new deal pays Notre Dame about $10 million per year.

This contract includes seven homes games per season. It allows for the first time an eighth off-site home game played at a neutral stadium.

The extension comes in the midst of an on-field Notre Dame slump. NBC had to downgrade its advertising pricing strategy while the Irish posted a 3-9 season last year. Last fall the ratings on Irish games fell 40 percent from the previous year and are now half of their 2005 levels.

NBC has had to give free ads (known as make-goods) to companies like Allstate and Procter & Gamble to justify the $55,000 to $80,000 rates for 30-second spots network officials negotiated before the season started. Media buyers will likely demand better pricing for the 2008-09 season.

NBC has broadcast Irish football since 1991. The TV money from NBC is one of the primary reasons Notre Dame football has been able to continue profitability while not being in a conference.

“The announcement of our association with Notre Dame back in 1990 was one of the great moments in the history of NBC Sports, so we're obviously thrilled to be continuing this landmark partnership with Notre Dame,” said Dick Ebersol, NBC Sports chairman. “Notre Dame is unquestionably one of the premier brands that defines who we at NBC are — things like the Olympics, the NFL, the U.S. Open and Notre Dame. "

Ebersol isn't discouraged by Notre Dame's losing record last year.

“The Notre Dame brand is a brand that has been sustained for decade after decade after decade,” Ebersol said. “When you look at the great brands you don’t necessarily look at year to year. Notre Dame has had a new coaching team settling in. We're big believers in how Notre Dame time and time again, over all these generations, has maintained its strength. I don't see that going away.”

The revenue generated through the NBC relationship is a primary reason why Forbes magazine has recognized the substantial financial contributions made by Irish athletics to the university's academic enterprise. In a 2007 survey, Forbes reported that the Notre Dame football program returns $21.1 million to academic initiatives, a total that is more than the survey's next five programs combined.

NBC's schedule of Notre Dame home games in 2008 features dates against San Diego State (Sept. 6), Michigan (Sept. 13), Purdue (Sept. 27), Stanford (Oct. 4), Pittsburgh (Nov. 1) and Syracuse (Nov. 22).
ADVERTISEMENT
  • When you think of the history of sports in the state of Indiana, you think of a handful of things. Indy 500, Notre Dame Football, Indiana Basketball, Peyton Manning, Reggie Miller, and H.S. Basketball.

    Notre Dame Football has a massive nearly unparalleled national following. It is one of the few college programs that transcend State Borders. While it is a Love 'Em or Hate 'Em program, that is a compliment to the elite stature the ND Football Program has earned in the past 100 plus years.

    ND will be back. They just assembled a very solid squad a couple years back and have several of the top recruiting classes in the nation. They pump out elite NFL talent and are and will always be a football destination despite any ups and downs.

    ND woes and IU's current situation are both similar, but there is no doubt that it is only a matter of time before both programs regain their top level expectations and performance.

Post a comment to this blog

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. Really, taking someone managing the regulation of Alcohol and making himthe President of an IVY Tech regional campus. Does he have an education background?

  2. Jan, great rant. Now how about you review the report and offer rebuttal of the memo. This might be more conducive to civil discourse than a wild rant with no supporting facts. Perhaps some links to support your assertions would be helpful

  3. I've lived in Indianapolis my whole and been to the track 3 times. Once for a Brickyard, once last year on a practice day for Indy 500, and once when I was a high school student to pick up trash for community service. In the past 11 years, I would say while the IMS is a great venue, there are some upgrades that would show that it's changing with the times, just like the city is. First, take out the bleachers and put in individual seats. Kentucky Motor Speedway has individual seats and they look cool. Fix up the restrooms. Add wi-fi. Like others have suggested, look at bringing in concerts leading up to events. Don't just stick with the country music genre. Pop music would work well too I believe. This will attract more young celebrities to the Indy 500 like the kind that go to the Kentucky Derby. Work with Indy Go to increase the frequency of the bus route to the track during high end events. That way people have other options than worrying about where to park and paying for parking. Then after all of this, look at getting night lights. I think the aforementioned strategies are more necessary than night racing at this point in time.

  4. Talking about congestion ANYWHERE in Indianapolis is absolutely laughable. Sure you may have to wait in 5 minutes of traffic to travel down BR avenue during *peak* times. But that is absolutely nothing compared to actual big cities. Indy is way too suburban to have actual congestion problems. So please, never bring up "congestion" as an excuse to avoid development in Indianapolis. If anything, we could use a little more.

  5. Oh wait. Never mind.

ADVERTISEMENT