Behold the Future of ND Media

It is in Texas.

You don’t have to look far to figure out what ND’s future media situation will look like. Texas has laid out the blueprint by signing a huge, $300M deal for the Longhorn Network with ESPN and IMG.

The deal will net UT about $15M per year, plus some kind of likely rev-share on advertising and ancillary business. It’s a huge development, though one that DMQ called a while back. Per DMQ’s theory, expect this to push more teams toward independence, and watch the superconferences fall one by one.

No word in the article on what the footprint of the Longhorn Network will be, but it will likely start regional and grow from there. ND can very easily use this as a blueprint for a future ND Network, which could capture a more national footprint pretty quickly given the nationwide fan base. While the NBC deal is lucrative and still ongoing, I would expect Swarbrick and Jenkins to explore the viability of an independent network, or something done in conjunction with NBC, sooner rather than later.

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  • DJ

    The NBC/Comcast merger has just been cleared by the FCC and the Justice Department, so you’ll be seeing NBC rebranding Versus fairly soon, and with the local Comcast Sports Channels and the Golf Channel, the birth of a new network to challenge ESPN.

    The other thing to look at as a model is BYU’s network, which combines educational programing, religious content, and (in the near future) BYU football.

    The last thing to take into account is Notre Dame’s long-standing tradition of making sure its broadcasts are as accessible as possible, currently on display with the free viewer on that shows you all sorts of content and live sports that aren’t covered by any of our broadcast contracts. I could see us pulling a “reverse-Big Ten Network” and not insisting on a premium channel price for a cable system to pick up a future NDTV Network.

  • Nate

    As long as they keep the online broadcasts, I’ll be happy. Even though I’m back in the States for the next few years, it’ll be soon enough that I’ll be back on the other side (hah–almost closer to Japan here in Honolulu than I am the east coast, but whatever) of the world and relying on internet broadcasts again. Besides, there are enough D-bag network affiliates here in the States (Louisville’s NBC affiliate, I’m looking at YOU) who choose not to show ND games and instead preempt them with 4th tier SEC games. (Vandy vs. Miss St? Really, Jefferson Pilot?)

    All in all, I hope it goes this direction, but if they decide to cut web content, they’re idiots.

    • NostraDomina

      Based on how cable itself is hemorrhaging subscribers who are jumping ship for online services like Netflix and Hulu, I’m pretty sure the online programming will remain pat. If anything I’m sure they’d expand it (somehow).

  • Trey

    Just hope(and i dont expect) that if ND does its own net that it wont be regional for any period

  • Pat

    To me this actually sounds exponentially worse than the current arrangement. All 13 Notre Dame football games were broadcast on national TV this year. And the Big East seems to have a decent thing going with ESPN in terms of men’s hoops. Seems like it would be tough to top that in terms of national footprint and exposure.

    • The Biscuit

      Cable has almost as much penetration as broadcast now, and ND would keep a lot more of the cash. It would likely be slightly worse in terms of footprint, but much better in terms of control and dollars. I would imagine that they’d have to work out how non-Football sports would work. It’s not a guaranteed home run, but if the money’s there, they’ll figure out a way.

      • Pat

        Yeah, I just worry about things like availability and the terms, and wrangling, between content creators and content providers. Also, costs to the individual — us, the fans — to have this stuff delivered into our homes.

  • Rocket89

    This is what I’ve been saying yo.

    It will be interesting to see how Texas goes about trying to expand this to a national level…that could get tricky. If could be very tricky for Notre Dame and there are plenty of Irish fans all over the country, not so much with Texas.

    • Trey

      I like the solution proposed here before: ND, UT, BYU all join together in an IndyNet for all of their gms. ND plays @ 3:00 est, UT @ 7 est, BYU @10 est.

      • BryanW

        Trey, I think that is the EXACT solution. The problem with ND on NBC right now is that the lead in is an infomercial and the game is followed by some other garbage. Plus, since NBC doesn’t air any other college games, we have to watch an NFL pre-game and halftime show on a Saturday college football broadcast. If you add UT and BYU, you have at least a double-header every week to go up against the ESPN/ABC and CBS schedules. I love having a contract with a network, but it doesn’t have to be an exclusive contract. Allowing others in only helps us.

        Why doesn’t Texas just go independent already?

        • Trey

          The short answer: Texas A&M & Texas Tech