The first Notre Dame home game of the year will not air on regular NBC, but rather it will air exclusively on NBC’s streaming app Peacock the University and NBC jointly announced yesterday. The 2021 Notre Dame Blue & Gold game also aired on Peacock.
“Fighting Irish TV and Peacock shows the evolution of how media is consumed by our fans and television viewers, alike,” Swarbrick added. “We want to provide a great experience to not only our fans who travel around the world to cheer us on, but also to our supporters who are either cable subscribers or ‘cord-cutters,’ and these two streaming platforms do just that. I see no better example of this than Peacock’s success in delivering fans wall-to-wall content during the Tokyo Olympics.”Official Notre Dame Press Release, August 4, 2021
Notre Dame and Toledo is set to kickoff at 2:30 PM on September 11.
This news should not have surprised anyone, though it predictably has angered many. Brands and networks are all pushing their streaming apps as they scramble for eyeballs and users as more and more people have cut the cord.
The good news here is that Notre Dame fans have plenty of time to either make sure they sign up for a month of Peacock in advance of the opener or make arrangements to watch the game somewhere else. Fans might have a hard time finding bars that will have the game, however, since most bars aren’t going to subscribe to something like Peacock for a single game.
While it is frustrating, this is the direction the entire broadcast industry is headed and Notre Dame/NBC have jumped on. While I’m not thrilled I’m going to have to likely subscribe to Peacock for a month to watch the game, I get it from a business perspective. As Notre Dame strives to maintain its Independence while super conferences like the SEC are formed, the viability of streaming games could be crucial for Notre Dame. It is likely no coincidence that Notre Dame launched Fighting Irish TV earlier this year.
This probably won’t be the last time a Notre Dame game is streamed. Remember, for years NBC tried to use one Notre Dame a season to push its soon-to-be-defunct NBC Sports Network. Earlier this year it was announced that NBCSN would shut down by the end of 2021.
Again, from a business perspective, it makes sense for NBC to try to use one of its best assets – Notre Dame football – to try to inflate their subscription numbers even if it does frustrate and upset Notre Dame fans in the process. It’s not like NBC has done a whole lot over the last 20 years to please Notre Dame fans in the first place.