SBD/Issue 238/Sports Media

NBC Changes Notre Dame Commercial Format Per Coach's Request

Kelly Requested Shorter Commercial Breaks
Due To Fast-Paced Offense

NBC during its Notre Dame football telecasts this season will "switch to the NFL TV model of five shorter commercial breaks per quarter instead of four longer commercial breaks," according to Whiteside & Farris of USA TODAY. The total advertising time "will be the same," as NBC Sports & Olympics VP/Communications Chris McCloskey noted the "commercial load this year will be identical to last year." The shorter breaks "will run about 1:45 compared with 2:30 last season." Whiteside & Farris note new Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly runs a "no-huddle spread offense," and Kelly yesterday said, "We've talked to NBC about the way we like to play the game vs. maybe how it was played in the past. 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" (USA TODAY, 8/25). Kelly said that his conversations on the matter, which have included Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick and the NBC production staff, have "already taken place on how to find a compromise between what Kelly needs to accomplish on the field, and what the network needs to accomplish through advertisements." BLUEANDGOLD.com's Todd Burlage noted the average airtime for NBC Notre Dame telecasts last season was three hours and 28 minutes, which was "still at least 20 minutes longer than an average ABC or ESPN game that typically stays close to the three-hour mark" (BLUEANDGOLD.com, 8/24). CBSSPORTS.com's Dennis Dodd wrote one can guess that NBC is "getting nervous about how to get its commercials in if Notre Dame starts running 80 plays a game." Kelly's Cincinnati offense "averaged 77 plays per game last season," which was "10 more than the national average" (CBSSPORTS.com, 8/24).

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