NBC To Adjust TV Timeouts

On Tuesday Brian Kelly told the media that he and AD Jack Swarbrick had talked to NBC about its TV timeouts in relation to Notre Dame’s fast paced offense it will be running.  By Tuesday night, reports surfaced that NBC would be altering it’s timeout structure for all Notre Dame home games.

Shorter TV timeouts are coming to Notre Dame home games on NBC this fall. (Photo - IconSMI)

Here’s what Kelly had to say about NBC a his style of play.

Certainly we’ve talked to NBC about the way we like to play the game versus how it was played in the past.  Those conversations have taken place.  There’s certainly a need for us to address it and I think we’re working with NBC to make certain that they get what they need from an advertising standpoint, but also, as the network that carries Notre Dame, that we’re able to do things as well.

The model out there has been ABC/ESPN for college football just because of the sheer volume of games they carry.  There’s a model out there.  All we’ve tried to do is address the model that we think would work well with us and there’s got to be a meeting somewhere halfway.   I’m very confident we’re going to be able to do the things we want to do in terms of pushing the tempo without having to go to a commercial break.

That conversation’s taken place.  Getting into the specifics, I’m not willing to do that, but I can tell you that that conversation between Jack (Swarbrick) and myself from Notre Dame along with the production people at NBC has taken place and I think we’re going to be able to meet somewhere in the middle.

According to USA Today, NBC listened and has decided to use the same ad model they use for their NFL games.

For this season’s Notre Dame game telecasts, NBC will switch to the NFL TV model of five shorter commercial breaks per quarter rather than four longer commercial breaks.

The total amount of advertising time will be the same. But the shorter breaks will run about 1 minute, 45 seconds this season compared to 2:30 last season.

“Over the years, we have reassessed the structure of our commercial breaks numerous times to improve the experience for our viewers and the fans in the stadium,” said NBC Sports spokesman Chris McCloskey in a statement Tuesday. “The commercial load this year will be identical to last year. The slight change to the commercial structure is the result of a number of factors done to improve the broadcast, not one single reason.”

Anyone who’s watched a Notre Dame game on NBC in the last few years knows how painful it is to sit through all of the commercials.  Many times the afternoon games on ABC/ESPN that start later than Notre Dame games finish up about the same time or before.

Don't Tell Brian Kelly the Notre Dame Offensive Line Needs to Improve

Aside from going against the style of play Brian Kelly plans on installing, the long TV timeouts also really suck the life out of the crowd at times.   Without video screens or a jumbotron of any kind, it’s tough to keep everyone’s attention during a two and a half minute break in the action.  That long of break might not seem like much, but when there’s four of them every quarter, it adds up.

We’ll find out soon enough if the shorter breaks help the game atmosphere inside the stadium on gamedays, but if nothing else, it shows the attention to detail Kelly has had since coming to Notre Dame.


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  1. sonofadomer 10 years ago

    “But put him on a sideline, in a ND cap, and make a bad call agianst his team and watch out.”

    Yeah, he might put you in a choke hold! Lou was in terrific shape from all the pacing he did on the sidelines. He was so filled with nervous energy it’s no wonder he chewed out the refs so often. Holtz was fun to watch, especially when he was upset with the refs.

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  2. Shazamrock 10 years ago

    Influencing the officiating is an art. Ara Parsegian had that great intensity and focus. When he spoke to a ref, they listened. He made them listen.
    Lou Holtz. If you ran into him on the street, with his small stature, and kind smile, you would hardly consider him intimidating. But put him on a sideline, in a ND cap, and make a bad call agianst his team and watch out.
    No way would I want to be a ref on the recieving end of that steely stare of his, or his yelling, or his pointed finger!
    It’s up to the head coach to make sure that his team gets a fair shake.
    Some do it better than others. I think Kelly will be one of the better ones.

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  3. jack 10 years ago


    That is a great arguement on why they should have paid referees in College Division I. You are talking about a league that produces major revenue and a poorly officiated game can result in a school loosing a ton of money. As far as ND not getting calls, lets be honest you either love ND or hate ND. I have never met a person who has no opininon on ND. ND has dealt with this bias their entire existance and will continue. Unfourtunatley like most things involving ND a great ND team over comes these issues. I believe we have a head coach and a team that can accomplish this and will show the entire world of college football what ND is made of this year.

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