Notre Dame & NBC Sports renew partnership


If you were worried that the seismic shifts in the college football world would affect Notre Dame’s position in college football’s ever-changing television landscape, that was put to rest today. The University of Notre Dame and the NBC Sports Group renewed their partnership for 10 years, extending through the 2025 football season.

That will extend Notre Dame and NBC’s landmark relationship to 35 years.

“While our relationship with NBC Sports is longstanding, the more recent merger between NBC and Comcast has opened up additional avenues to expand the breadth of Notre Dame-related sports programming on NBC platforms,” said Notre Dame vice president and athletics director Jack Swarbrick. “Specifically, the evolution of the NBC Sports Network has provided opportunities for special programming featuring inside looks at our football team and several other Notre Dame sports programs and in-depth profiles on the unsung heroes of Notre Dame athletics. These are examples of the growth of our partnership, and we look forward to collaborating on additional projects and distribution strategies in seasons to come.”

Those specials will continue on Saturday, with Strong and True airing an inside look at Notre Dame football. These programs aren’t just relegated to football, as Fighting Irish Digital Media has also shown inside looks at the hockey program and lacrosse as well, with more planned for the future.

For NBC, locking down the rights to Notre Dame, especially after a resurgent 12-win season, shows a commitment to one of college football’s premiere programs, now with an on-field product that closer matches its storied tradition.

“Coming off one of Notre Dame’s best and most dramatic seasons in decades, we could not be more proud to extend this historic partnership, which continues to be one of the most innovative in sports-media history,” said Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports Group. “We are particularly excited that this extension offers enhanced rights that allow us to bring Notre Dame Football to fans on more platforms than ever before.”

The contract extension begins in the 2016 season, and gives NBC the rights to a minimum of seven home football games a season. The agreement also allows for NBC Sports Digital to live stream Fighting Irish home games, and select games to air on NBC Sports Network.


Even with heavy rain in forecast, kickoff stays in primetime

Post & Courier via Twitter
Post & Courier (via Twitter)

With rain falling and the forecast expecting much more, Notre Dame and Clemson are kicking off in primetime anyway.

College GameDay was on campus this morning, showcasing the soggy conditions and the mud-covered campus. And while some wondered whether or not the kickoff would move up to earlier in the day to take advantage of a slight lull in the conditions, kickoff is remaining at 8:22 p.m.

“We’ve been in constant communication with state and local law enforcement and have monitored weather throughout the week and today,” director of athletics Dan Radakovich said in a statement Friday night. “I’ve spoken with campus leaders, State Highway Patrol, and Governor Nikki Haley, and feel confident we can play the game as scheduled. We ask our fans to be conscientious arriving and departing from our campus as we will have some limitations due to this ongoing weather event.”

Ball security will be key this evening, and during an interview with Tom Rinaldi this morning Kelly mentioned the punting and kick game as concerns in these conditions. The Irish came to Clemson prepared for miserable conditions and if the forecast holds, they’ll get just that.

Irish get commitment from 2017 TE Cole Kmet

Cole Kmet

Notre Dame’s tight end recruiting keeps rolling. The Irish received a commitment from Illinois tight end Cole Kmet, who adds a third piece to Notre Dame’s 2017 recruiting class.

Kmet is a 6-foot-4, 230-pounder, joining fellow blue-chipper 2017 tight end Brock Wright in next year’s recruiting class (they won’t sign until February 2017). He had early offers from plenty of the top programs around the country, but picked Notre Dame over finalist Ohio State, a nice recruiting victory for Scott Booker and Brian Kelly.

Kmet talked about the decision with Irish 247 who broke the news:

“I think it was just a gut feeling knowing it was Notre Dame,” Kmet to Irish 247. “I didn’t want to pass on playing for that program and attending that university. It’s always been the school I wanted an offer from and Ohio State made it really close, but I just couldn’t pass on Notre Dame.”