June 10, 2011 // Notre Dame Football

Swarbrick Says There Will be a Notre Dame Network

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Jack Swarbrick

Jack Swarbrick told WSBT that there will be a Notre Dame Network. (Photo - Icon Sports Media)

Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick was interviewed by WSBT radio earlier this week and among the many topics discussed, one was the potential for a Notre Dame network.  Swarbrick told the station that there will be a Notre Dame Network although he didn’t give a time frame or go into specifics.

There will be a Notre Dame Network, but people sort of envision that in traditional terms of something dramatic and new. You’ll sort of grow into it as you produce more and more digital programming and distribute it more broadly, and we’re committed to that.

What is central to our ability to really build out of a viable network is the increased delivery of broadband video to homes. Texas is a cable platform, because they have dense geography. Ours is the inverse of that. We have fans everywhere – not a huge concentration in one cable market. And so we’re going to be really well-positioned, as technology advances here, and we’re spending our time now building our digital programming.

Ever since Texas announced its $300 million, 20 year deal with ESPN to build a Texas network, it has been widely speculated that Notre Dame would soon follow and it makes a lot of sense for them to do so.  Notre Dame, more so than any other school, has a nationwide fan base.  Looking at the traffic levels for UHND, it shows just how spread out Notre Dame’s fans are.  The top 3 cities sending traffic to UHND are New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago and only 3 of the top 10 cities sending traffic are even in the state of Indiana – South Bend, Indianapolis, and Fort Wayne.

Somewhat surprisingly, Columbus is the city sending the 6th most traffic to UHND, but back to the idea of a Notre Dame Network.

Had Notre Dame experienced more success on the field over the last decade, its possible that the Irish could have blazed this trail already.  With Texas and now Oklahoma moving forward with their own networks, it is only logical for Notre Dame to follow suit.  While not being in a conference has its benefits, one of the drawbacks is Notre Dame reportedly makes less money off of its TV deal with NBC than schools from the major conferences like the Big 10, SEC, and Big 12 get.  Building a network of its own would give Notre Dame another revenue stream that it would be able to enjoy all of the profits from.

Money reasons aside, having a network will be a handy recruiting tool as well and if more schools follow Texas and Oklahoma’s lead, it will almost become necessary.  For as popular as Notre Dame is, we always read quotes from recruits from different areas of the country, usually from the South, who say they know very little about Notre Dame early on in the process.  Having a channel where you control the programming would be just another tool for Brian Kelly and staff to use.

It will be interesting to see what role NBC/Comcast plays in the development of a Notre Dame network.  Will Notre Dame look to make this independently of NBC or will they work with the sole broadcaster of Notre Dame football games for over 20 years?  NBC has already made more Notre Dame programming available since their merger with Comcast such as the day of classic Notre Dame games on Versus this past St. Patrick’s Day so it would make sense if the two continued working together on such a network.

Swarbrick has really been doing an excellent job of running the athletics department at Notre Dame and this would just be another feather in his cap.


Comments to this Article

  • JC commented on June 11th, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Jack has been doing a great job of late. Especially insuring ND staying independent. The only boon doggle under Jack was how the firing of CW involved the media in part. Any CEO or upper management knows when to man-up and dismiss an employee in the office and in private and certainly NOT in the media where was such the case with ND. Since then many great things have happened for Jack and ND. Again, Good job Mr. Swarbrick.


  • C-Dog commented on June 17th, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    ND Network – BAD idea. But so is the Big 10 Network, the Texas Network, etc.

    And the worst idea of all?………..THE ESPN / ABC MONOPOLY of FOOTBALL NETWORK!!!!

    What can you do? Maybe I’ll become a rabid fan of St. Johns of Minn. so I can root for some real lads , aka. student athletes , and find reasonable purity in D-3 collegiate athletics.


  • East Texas Irish commented on June 17th, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    I think all these networks r a good idea. What I want to know is will NBC still do the filming of the football games or will it be all ND network only? Kinda like espn filming all the UT stuff. Texas and Oklahoma don’t have fans other than them two states. Half the OU team r players from Texas. Here’s a list of the “top dogs” and my idea if they should follow as well.

    NOTRE DAME- fans worldwide.
    UT- majority of fans in Texas only.
    OU- majority of fans in TX and OK.
    Alabama- nobody outside Alabama cares.
    LSU-nobody outside LA cares.
    Florida-nobody outside sec country cares.
    Michigan-nobody outside Michigan and maybe Ohio care.
    Ohio State- see Michigan and flip flop.
    USC-nobody cares outside of the pacific rim. I live in Texas and have seen maybe 20 TRUE USC fans in 25 yrs.

    What teams do u guys think should get a network? What do y’all think of my opinion?


  • SteelFanRob commented on June 19th, 2011 at 1:52 pm


    Totally agree. While C-Dog raises some legit points about the rampant commercialism of big-time college sports (esp. football), we shouldn’t want ND to fall behind the curve here. Like it or not, this seems to be the wave of the future. And if any team deserves its own national network, it’s ND! Like ETI, points out, no other school comes close to matching ND’s national following. Love us or hate us, ND matters!


  • Canada loves the Irish commented on September 13th, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Remember us north of the border. We normally see every game televised, I hope that we can still see games in Canada when ND has their own network. I assume that affiliates will still pick up the games.
    Looking forward to being there in person for the BYU game. Go Irish !


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