Notre Dame football might be a part-time lover in the Atlantic Coast Conference, but the league still gets a nice pay bump from the Irish's presence.
The ACC expects Notre Dame's full membership in all sports but football and hockey -- with five guaranteed football games per year -- to earn each school more than $1 million per year in media rights revenue, according to two league sources.
This will bump the ACC's per-school annual television revenue into the $18-plus-million range. In 2012, the ACC renegotiated a deal with ESPN for $3.6 billion over 15 years (or $17.1 million per school on average) for a 14-team football league.
Notre Dame's football television deal with NBC is worth a reported $15 million per year and runs until 2015.
When that NBC deal expires, the ACC could try to corral Notre Dame as a full-time football member or increase the part-time commitment to six games. However, Notre Dame appears set on its independence.
Notre Dame traditionally played at least a few ACC games per year, but starting in 2014 all ACC school will get a crack at Irish football every three years. The ACC is working on finalizing that schedule now. A Notre Dame-Florida State matchup in Tallahassee is in the works for 2014, according to a source and first reported by Warchant.com.
ACC schools could see a bump in home ticket sales when Notre Dame comes to town.
“Years ago, our alumni never thought in their wildest dreams that Notre Dame would play in Lane Stadium,” Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver said.
The ACC is currently considering a 24-hour sports channel with ESPN, which is gathering information and will return to the league with an assessment. If ESPN makes an offer the ACC likes, plans for a channel might commence. The league is evaluating whether a channel makes the most business sense.
The SEC expects to make an announcement on its own channel with ESPN some time this month.
Every league wants to maximize its revenue, but if projections about the upcoming Big Ten revenues are accurate (which Maryland clearly believes), maybe there's extra motivation to do just that.