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#pounditWednesday, May 29, 2024

New Big Ten deal means 2 things for Notre Dame

Marcus Freeman looking ahead

Oct 2, 2021; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish Defensive Coordinator Marcus Freeman enters Notre Dame Stadium before the game against the Cincinnati Bearcats. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten is in the process of finalizing a media rights deals with NBC, and it appears Notre Dame will be one of the big winners from the new agreement.

There had been some talk that Notre Dame could join the Big Ten now that there has been major conference realignment, but that is unlikely to happen. Notre Dame has its own rights deal with NBC that runs through 2025 and pays the school $25 million annually. Now that NBC and the Big Ten are entering into a partnership, John Ourand of Sports Business Journal expects two things to happen for Notre Dame — the Fighting Irish will remain independent and renew their rivalry with Michigan.

Sources told Ourand that Notre Dame should be able to secure a new deal worth around $60 million per year with NBC when the current contract expires in 2025. That would mean the school remains independent and unaffiliated with a conference. However, Notre Dame would have a much easier time scheduling Big Ten opponents — like Michigan — now that NBC has rights to Big Ten games.

The Big Ten’s current media rights deal with ESPN will end after 2023. NBC, FOX and CBS are all expected to reach agreements with the conference to carry Big Ten games. One thought was that Notre Dame could join the Big Ten to coincide with NBC landing a Saturday night package for Big Ten games, but there is really no need for that from Notre Dame’s perspective. They should get premier Big Ten games while also having their own rights agreement with NBC.

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