How and when to watch Notre Dame vs. Toledo on Peacock

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Relax. Take a breath. A deep breath. Everything will be alright.

No. 8 Notre Dame kicks off against Toledo in two hours and change, which is approximately and hour and 55 minutes longer than you will need to sign up for Peacock, NBC’s streaming platform. In other words, at the absolute worst, this will take you 10 times longer than it takes Norm Peterson to drink a beer.

That is not an exaggeration. Norm truly believed you can always be 30 seconds away from your next drink.

And signing up for Peacock is not the sign of the end times some want to make it out to be. Oklahoma has put a game on pay-per-view for a few years now, at a rate much, much steeper than $4.99/month or $7.50 for three months. A chunk of the SEC schedule is behind a paywall on ESPN+ every year, a chunk that gets only bigger with every year.

This is 2021, this is the proliferation of technology, this is where college football is heading.

“This is moving to streaming. No one can doubt that,” Notre Dame director of athletics Jack Swarbrick said in an interview last month. “You can doubt the speed at which the conversion will occur. But the primary medium for consuming media content will be streaming. We want to prove we’re a leader in that. We want to prove that we can succeed in that model.”

Frustration over that inevitability is as productive as annoyance with a blowhard’s incessant chatter two stools down at the bar. Cliff is gonna Clavin, might as well try to enjoy your beer, anyway.

Notre Dame and Toledo will be exclusively on Peacock this weekend, might as well enjoy the game, anyway.

So how do you do it? How do you sign up for Peacock? How do you watch the Irish try to win by at least 17 against the Rockets?

It’s as easy as asking Coach to pour you a draft.

You click …

THIS LINK RIGHT HERE IN THE BIG BOLD FONT.

You click “Unlock with Premium.” You use the code “NOTREDAME.” Yes, yours truly is test-driving these instructions as he types them out because sometimes the best bar owner is the one who has had too many drinks in his own life. Live the experience of your customers.

Sign on up.
If needed, go download the Peacock app on your respective viewing device. Pretend you are installing Netflix or HBO Max or actually we probably are not supposed to list off a bunch of rival streaming apps right now, are we? Mimic Woody Boyd’s naivete and pretend that didn’t happen. Thanks.

Note: some Xfinity and Cox customers may already have access to Peacock Premium at no additional cost.

They and everyone else who signs up for Peacock Premium will be able to tune into Notre Dame Stadium an hour before kickoff to watch a pregame show. Let’s pull straight from the Countdown to Kickoff press release to suggest that should be a worthwhile hour of prep, as it will include:

— Exclusive “Mic’d Up” segment featuring Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly.
— In-Depth feature profile of projected top-10 NFL Draft Pick Kyle Hamilton.
— A conversation between Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick and NBC’s Mike Tirico about Notre Dame and storylines around college athletics.
— Analysis of the college football season with Tirico and NBC Sports analyst Drew Brees.

And then unlike games broadcast on NBC, coverage will continue after the game, including Kelly’s postgame press conference.

Now let’s get out over our skis. Let’s risk getting scolded by the corporate overlords. Let’s acknowledge some behind-the-scenes mechanisms …

After many home games, Irish fans voice anger that the NBC broadcast did not stay on the field long enough to broadcast the team singing the “Alma Mater” after a victory. The broader fan base does not necessarily recognize —  nor should it be expected to — that NBC has a contractual hard-out to get to local news broadcasts after most home games. There is not much the production truck can do about giving those postgame moments proper air time.

Know what does not have a hard-out? Streaming platforms.

This lowly writer does not pretend to know what the executive producer will decide in the production truck as the clock expires in the fourth quarter, and developing events always dictate those quick decisions, but there are theoretical reasons to prefer Peacock to NBC.

And that preference can last all season, as all Notre Dame games will be available on Peacock.

Is that worth $4.99/month or $7.50 for three months? Money’s worth is more subjective than we as a society like to recognize. Robin Colcord viewed $100 differently than Carla Tortelli did. If really wanting this to devolve into a conversation about economics, go watch “The Art of the Steal,” the 10th episode of the eighth season of “Cheers.”

That is supposed to be the real argument here for Peacock: Watch Notre Dame football, watch Sunday Night Football, watch the English Premier League.
Watch Cheers, watch Yellowstone, watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

How about we try a different tact?
Sign up for Peacock. Enjoy it. Watch Notre Dame and Toledo on Saturday at 2:30 ET. Tune in early for a pregame show. And then, if you really want, watch it again. You can forget about setting your DVR. Peacock will offer a replay of the game without you worrying about it.

By signing up for Peacock, you can check a few things off your to-do list.

Pass the beer nuts.