Sept. 13, 2016
The University of Notre Dame’s two-and-a-half-decade relationship with NBC Sports to televise Irish home football games now has resulted in more than $100 million being allocated from contract revenues to University financial aid.
Athletics has contributed in excess of $4 million per year of revenue from the NBC Sports agreement to the University’s financial aid program. NBC began televising Notre Dame home games in 1991, and the 2015-16 school year pushed the overall figure past the $100 million mark for the first time in terms of actual undergraduate scholarship dollars dispensed.
"We partnered with NBC at about the same time the Trustees made financial aid the top fund-raising priority for the University," said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the University's president. "My predecessor, Father (Edward) Malloy, made the wise decision at the time to devote substantial portions of revenue generated by the contract to financial aid, and we have continued to do so ever since. The generosity of benefactors has played a vital role in the tremendous growth of our aid over the years, and so too has the NBC revenue. The Notre Dame-NBC partnership has been a wonderful benefit to our many alumni and fans, and, most importantly, to the thousands of students who have received more than $100 million in aid."
There now have been 6,899 students who have benefitted from scholarship awards owing to the NBC relationship—with $103,323,144 in actual aid received over 25 years. The University also has used NBC contract revenue to endow doctoral fellowships in the Graduate School and for MBA scholarships in the Mendoza College of Business.
“The University identified as a priority from the outset making scholarships and financial aid a destination for part of the revenue from the NBC agreement—and that decision now has impacted, literally, thousands of students, some of whom might not otherwise have been able to come to Notre Dame,” said Notre Dame vice president and James E. Rohr director of athletics Jack Swarbrick.
“The fact that more than $100 million now has been attributed to the NBC relationship—and contributed to our students—is a milestone worth celebrating. It underscores the manner in which the University has been able to make use of athletics to benefit the campus at large. And in the midst of a national debate about the role of intercollegiate athletics in America, we believe that this milestone, along with our decision to renovate our football stadium to include classrooms and space for student services, is an important reflection of Notre Dame’s belief that an elite athletic program can and should serve the university’s educational mission.”
“We are thrilled to celebrate this milestone with Notre Dame and help contribute to the success of so many deserving students,” said Mark Lazarus, chairman of the NBC Sports Group. “Thanks to the vision and efforts of Father Jenkins, Jack Swarbrick, Rev. E. William Beauchamp, C.S.C, Dick Rosenthal, Dick Ebersol, Ken Schanzer and Jon Miller, Notre Dame and NBCUniversal have built an unparalleled 26-year history together, and a legacy that proudly goes well beyond the football field.”
The Notre Dame-NBC partnership and resulting financial aid contributions will be recognized Saturday night during the Notre Dame-Michigan State football game at Notre Dame Stadium.
The University originally signed a five-year agreement with NBC that began with the 1991 season—and then added five-year extensions that began in 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011. The current agreement, announced in April 2013, created a new 10-year agreement that represents Irish football seasons from 2016 through 2025, extending the landmark relationship between Notre Dame and NBC to 35 years.