Big Ten TV plans will not change Notre Dame’s stance on independence

·2 min read

Fighting Irish Wire is studying how various people are reacting to the reports that the Big Ten is lining up NBC and CBS as additional television partners alongside Fox, the primary rights holder.

One interesting response, via Irish Wire, came from former Notre Dame center Rick Kaczenski:

“Money isn’t the driving force behind any decision they [Notre Dame] will make.”

Irish Wire said this:

Like many connected to Notre Dame in some way, Kaczenski believes whatever happens will be completely up to the Irish. Whether outsiders like it or not, Notre Dame remains one of the biggest brands in college football, if not the biggest. If that doesn’t tell you who’s holding all the cards in this situation, nothing will.

We agree with this line of analysis.

We also think that since NBC already has Notre Dame games under its umbrella, the addition of Big Ten games means that in 2024 and 2025, Notre Dame games will either directly precede or follow a Big Ten game on NBC. In many cases, that NBC Big Ten game will involve the USC Trojans and Lincoln Riley.

If you’re Notre Dame, then, you’ll put two and two together. You’ll see that Big Ten games will give your games bigger ratings, and vice-versa. Why “cross the street,” so to speak, and join the Big Ten? Notre Dame can play USC when the Trojans are in the Big Ten, and Notre Dame won’t have to split TV money with USC or anyone else. TV networks are throwing piles of money at the Big Ten. They’ll throw piles of money at Notre Dame regardless of conference/independent status. Notre Dame will be able to keep all TV dollars for itself without having to share, which is exactly why the school has remained independent all these years.

There is absolutely zero reason for the Irish to change now.

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Massive Big Ten media rights development has numerous implications for USC

Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire