Notre Dame helmet Apr 23, 2022; Notre Dame, Indiana, USA; A detail of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish helmet during warmups of the Blue-Gold Game at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

With the Big Ten adding UCLA and USC in 2024 and likely including CBS and NBC in their next TV deal, many have wondered what happens to Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish have maintained their independent status while having their own agreement with NBC but recent strategic moves have put everything into question. It looks like the picture is getting clearer.

According to Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand, Notre Dame is likely remaining independent as some speculate that the school could potentially triple their rights fee when their current deal with NBC ends in 2025. NBC currently pays Notre Dame around $25 million/year.

Some might see NBC’s Big Ten deal as a potential threat to Notre Dame’s relative exclusivity with the network but if Notre Dame remains at NBC, it might be worth it for them to collaborate and schedule more Big Ten opponents even if they’re not in the conference. NBC can synergize their Big Ten deal with their Notre Dame one and that might result in a higher fee for the Fighting Irish cross-promoting NBC Big Ten broadcasts.

For the 2022 season, Notre Dame has games against Ohio State and USC but those are the only Big Ten teams on the schedule. And one of them won’t be in the conference for two more seasons. As Ourand noted, he revealed that he’s expecting Notre Dame to schedule Michigan sometime before 2033, when they’re supposed to play next. That could be the start of more Big Ten schools heading to South Bend in the coming years.

[Sports Business Journal]

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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