SBD/June 14, 2011/Media

Irish Eyes Will Be Watching: Notre Dame AD Swarbrick Says There Will Be An ND Network

Notre Dame's current contract with NBC runs through '15
Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick during an interview with WSBT-AM in South Bend last week said there will be a Notre Dame network, but people will probably envision that "in traditional terms of something dramatic and new.” Swarbrick said, “You’ll sort of grow into it as you produce more and more digital programming and distribute it more broadly, and we’re committed to that. What is central to our ability to really build out of a viable network is the increased delivery of broadband video to homes." Swarbrick referenced the Univ. of Texas' Longhorn Network that is launching in August and said, "Texas is a cable platform, because they have dense geography. Ours is the inverse of that. We have fans everywhere -- not a huge concentration in one cable market. And so we’re going to be really well-positioned, as technology advances here, and we’re spending our time now building our digital programming” (WSBT-AM, 6/8). CBSSPORTS.com’s Tom Fornelli wrote it “does make sense for Notre Dame to pursue this option, as having its own network would be another revenue source.” Fornelli: “Plus, as Swarbrick himself states, Notre Dame is a national program. While Texas may have some fans around the country, the majority of the school's fan base can be found within Texas' borders. That's simply not the case for Notre Dame.” Meanwhile, when the school “plans on launching the network remains to be seen, as its current deal with NBC runs through 2015” (CBSSPORTS.com, 6/13).

GRABBING 'EM BY THE HORNS: In Phoenix, Mark Faller watched a recent Texas-Arizona State baseball game on ESPN and wrote he is “slowly going crazy with all the ads, promos and even the ‘crawl’ telling us every, oh, 10 minutes about the new Longhorn Network.” Faller: “I guess if you are paying that much money you feel obligated to promote it incessantly every time you show a UT event” (AZCENTRAL.com, 6/11).

GEARING UP OUT WEST: CBSSPORTS.com's Bryan Fischer noted with the Pac-10 Conference's television rights deal out of the way, Commissioner Larry Scott has "now turned to what some consider the league's possible crown jewel -- the Pac-12 Network." The "immediate focus" of Scott and Pac-10 Deputy Commissioner & COO Larry Weiberg is to get the net "off the ground by the time the league's new deal begins next summer" (CBSSPORTS.com, 6/10). See CBSSports.com's profile on Scott in today's DAILY for more on the launch of the Pac-12 Network.
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