Notre Dame’s landmark contract with NBC has been renewed once again making all Irish home games through 2015.
“We’re big believers in how Notre Dame time and time again over all these generations has maintained its strength,” he said. “I don’t see that going away.”
Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed, although Ebersol said the contract is a flat fee and not based on ratings. The current contract that expires in 2010 is reported to be worth $9 million a year.
Ebersol said the important thing for Notre Dame, which hasn’t won a national championship since 1988, is to be in the race to be a top 10 team in most years “for it to be a wildly successful arrangement.”
“We go into this thinking that if the vast majority of the years has Notre Dame competitive in that top 10 or for that top 10 through the majority of the season, then we’ll be very happy,” he said.
“We are thrilled about this arrangement,” said Notre Dame’s president, Rev. John Jenkins.
But perhaps not as thrilled as NBC President Ken Schanzer, who spoke in comically glowing terms of the “elegance of the institution” and knowing that Irish officials will “comport themselves in ways that make you proud to be associated with them and allow you to live in the reflected glory of that nobility.”
“That nobility” produced just three victories last season, the fewest since 1963. But Ebersol said coach Charlie Weis didn’t have to sell NBC on Notre Dame’s prospects for improvement.
“What I would say to Charlie is that I think his charms are best spent on dealing with 18- and 19-year-old men or boys,” Ebersol said, “than they are being wasted on guys who are older than 60.”
Schanzer added: “Neither of whom can run very well.