After the USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins made their way to the Big Ten, many speculated as to whether Notre Dame would be next. After all, it appears that super-conferences are right around the corner, and the Fighting Irish may want to get on board now while they comfortably can.
According to CBS Sports, however, the Irish are actually looking for a strong upgrade in revenue for its next media deal. They want $75 million per year from NBC to stay independent. Don't know how much of an upgrade that would be? They currently receive $22 million every year from NBC.
Their deal ends in 2025, just one year after USC and UCLA get to the Big Ten. They start in the Big Ten for the 2024 season. Notre Dame, however, is actually looking to keep their tradition of staying independent alive.
They seem to know this is a risk, though, as they are looking for over three times the amount of money per year from NBC that they're currently getting. As for NBC's interest, it's complicated.
"NBC is seeking rights for Power 5 conference games adjacent to Notre Dame’s on the college football schedule before committing to the school’s target valuation," said Owen Poindexter of Front Office Sports. "The Big 12 and Big Ten have both emerged as potential targets for NBC."
It's understandable if NBC does not grant USC football's biggest rivals--the Notre Dame Fighting Irish--this request.
Luckily, USC football has already gotten ahead on this conference realignment business, and is not asking for massive asks like Notre Dame. Notre Dame and NBC's partnership has been mutually appreciated so far, but this is an ask that could end up proving to be too much.
It remains to be seen, however, as the Irish are hoping that NBC sees them as the ultra-valuable brand that they see them as. One thing's for sure, though, and that's the fact that Notre Dame clearly does not want to join a conference.
Their stubbornness to do that is even entering new heights as they stare at the risk that comes with not joining in on the major conference realignment that is to come, and has already been beginning since last offseason.