Sunday, August 23, 2009

Conference TV Contracts: Independents

The three FBS independents have individual TV contracts, with the two service academies with CBS College Sports and Notre Dame with NBC.

Since 1991, NBC has been the exclusive provider of Notre Dame home games, with the current contract ending after the 2015 season. Starting with the 2009 season, Notre Dame plans to schedule opponents on a 7-4-1 basis, seven home games in South Bend, four true road games and one neutral site "home" game. The neutral site "home" game will often be used as a primetime telecast by NBC due to the school's reluctance to schedule night games on campus. Notre Dame's on campus home games will typically kick off at 3:30pm ET and 2:30pm ET after Daylight Savings Time ends.

Navy began a long-term partnership for telecast of on-campus and select neutral sites starting in 2005 and those rights have been extended to end after the 2017 season. Included in a separate contract is the rights to Navy's "home" game with Notre Dame through 2016 with an option for the 2018 game. Included in the deal with CBS College Sports is free web streaming of every home game, operational rights to, HD telecasts for all home games and finalization of all kickoff times by May 1st of the upcoming season.

Army's existing rights are owned by ESPN, but have been sold to CBS College Sports (except for the Friday night home game vs. Rutgers) for the 2009 season and remain with CBS C starting with the 2010 season. Unlike the existing ESPN deal, all Army home games will be played on Saturdays with kickoff times of 12pm or 3:30pm to be decided by May 1st, like the Navy contract. A free web stream of all Army home games will also be provided for. Because the agreement for 2009 was finalized after CBS C had set its C-USA, MWC and Navy schedules, two of the Army home games will be televised via tape delay. Army's recent slate of Yankee Stadium home games (Rutgers-2011, Boston College-2012 and Air Force-2014) will also be televised here. Note that the game vs. Notre Dame at Yankee Stadium is a Notre Dame "home" game and will be televised by NBC.

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