Last week at ACC Media Days, Commissioner John Swofford made it crystal clear that Notre Dame was a full and equal partner in the new ACC Network set to launch next month. That means they get an equal share of any revenue generated. That’s on top of the approximately $15 million per year the Irish generate though their deal with NBC.
The Irish haven’t been getting an equal cut of the television money paid out by the ACC to member schools, but that will not be the case when it comes to the new network. That really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise however, because without the Irish, there’s no new network to launch.
If you were one of those who thought the Irish partially joining the conference back in 2015 was the first step towards full membership, Swofford also made it clear that’s not in the cards. Not anytime in the near future anyways. He recently told the Sporting News, “If Notre Dame reached a point where they were interested to join in football, we would readily have that conversation. I don’t expect that to happen. When we made the arrangement with Notre Dame, some people thought, ‘Well it’s just a matter of time in football.’ I’ve never really thought that.”
For what it’s worth, if the Irish were to decide to ever join a conference in football, they’d be contractually obligated to join the ACC. Their current deal with NBC runs through 2025, and the ACC’s current deal with ESPN runs through 2036.
Under the current agreement, Notre Dame must play five ACC opponents each season. Any of those games that are played in ACC stadiums can be shown on the new network. Notre Dame Football does draw a lot of eyes to its product, so it’s not like they’re not bringing anything to the table.