Dec. 18, 2003
Notre Dame, Ind. -
The University of Notre Dame and NBC Sports announced today a
new five-year agreement in which NBC will televise Irish home
football games through 2010.
The extension provides NBC rights to Notre Dame home games
from 2006 through 2010. Notre Dame will provide a minimum of six
home games per season to NBC as part of the agreement.
The joint announcement was made by NBC Sports & Olympics
chairman Dick Ebersol, NBC Sports president Ken Schanzer, Notre Dame
president Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., and Notre Dame director of
athletics Kevin White.
"We are delighted to be continuing our landmark agreement
with Notre Dame, which remains the most powerful brand in college
sports," Ebersol said.
"We covet our association with Notre Dame because of its storied tradition, exceptional values and commitment
to excellence, both on and off the field.
"With Tyrone Willingham, the football program is in the right
hands. He embodies Notre Dame's core values, and his leadership,
character and drive assure Notre Dame's return to its traditional
place among the elite national powers.
"This new deal, as well as the previous deals dating back to
1990, are a tribute to the incredible relationship that Ken Schanzer
has built with the entire Notre Dame community."
Father Malloy said that the partnership with NBC has been as
valuable academically as athletically.
"While our partnership with NBC has been important to Irish
athletics, it is the general student body that has been the greatest
beneficiary," he said.
"From the very beginning, the majority of
revenue generated through the contract with NBC has been directed
toward the financial aid needs of our students. Now, thanks to this
innovative collaboration, the dream of a Notre Dame education has
been made a reality for hundreds of Notre Dame students who have
received millions of dollars in scholarship support."
White added: "We're extremely pleased to augment what
continues to be a very special relationship with NBC Sports. The
ability to have our home football games telecast on a national basis
becomes a tremendous vehicle for us in maintaining a national
visibility and platform in terms of our football program's profile
"Since our games at Notre Dame Stadium are routinely sold
out, this enables our fans and alumni all around the country to be
able to watch our team play on Saturdays. In addition, the
resources provided through the relationship have gone a long way
toward supporting the mission of the University when it comes to
Revenues from the NBC contract have played a key role in
Notre Dame's financial aid endowment since the start of the
relationship in 1991. University officers decided to use a portion
of the football television contract revenue for undergraduate
scholarship endowment (not athletic scholarships). There are 111
undergraduates at the University in 2003-04 receiving need-based
scholarships averaging $17,600 from the endowment funded by revenue
from the NBC contract. Since the inception of this
particular endowed scholarship fund, 1,263 Notre Dame undergraduate
students have received more than $12.6 million in aid.
The University also committed $5.5 million from the NBC
revenues to endow doctoral fellowships in its Graduate School.
Earnings from the endowment currently support graduate teaching
fellows, a minority fellowship program and summer research
fellowships. Nearly $4 million from the contract have been used to
endow MBA scholarships in the Mendoza College of Business. Since
1994, some 50 MBA students have been supported through the NBC
endowment. During the 2002-03 academic year, 11 students were
designated as NBC fellows.
Overall, Notre Dame's football television contract revenues
have been a key in a larger University effort that has seen annual
scholarship aid increase tenfold, from $5.4 million in 1991 to $53.7
million in 2003-04. Football television contract revenue and many
other University gifts and investments have resulted in
undergraduate scholarship endowment growing from $88 million in 1988
to more than $727 million as of September 2003.
NBC has been televising Irish home games since 1991, and this
marks the fourth of a series of five-year agreements with Notre
Dame. The original agreement covered the 1991-95 seasons. The first
five-year extension (announced in 1994) covered 1996-2000, and the
second extension (announced in May '97) covered 2001-2005. By the
conclusion of this latest extension, NBC will have televised Notre
Dame home football games for 20 consecutive seasons. Each of the
initial three pacts featured a combined 30 home games over each
Among the teams slated to play at Notre Dame Stadium during
2006-2010 include Michigan (three times), Purdue (three times), USC
(twice), Michigan State (twice), Penn State and UCLA.
NBC's schedule of Notre Dame home games in 2004 features
dates against Michigan (Sept. 11), Washington (Sept. 25), Purdue
(Oct. 2), Stanford (Oct. 9), Boston College (Oct. 23) and Pittsburgh