Notre Dame has made plenty of money with its NBC television deal and has not needed the conference security blanket that most teams enjoy.But as television revenue for the big conferences continue to skyrocket Notre Dame may soon give up their independent status and join the Big 10.
Notre Dame’s football program made $64.2 million last year. That is eighth in college football, but nearly $30 million behind the University of Texas ($93.9M). The difference between the two schools is due mostly to television revenue.
Notre Dame’s current contract with NBC pays the school about $15 million per year.
On the other hand, Texas makes about $16 million per year from the Big 12’s TV deals. On top of that, Texas has their own network created out of a partnership with ESPN that will pay them $15 million a year for the next 20 years.
And then consider that the Big 10’s television deals bring in about $100 million more than the Big 12 every year, and all of the sudden, being an independent doesn’t seem so great anymore for Notre Dame.
In the end, pride may be the only thing keeping Notre Dame independent. But even pride has a price. And as Notre Dame sees revenues at other schools continue to grow, it may just be a matter of time before they jump on the bandwagon.
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