Friday, June 20, 2008

At the sports desk: NBC Sports renews its football contract with the Fighting Irish

Despite the team's 3-9 record last year and its declining TV ratings.
Don't get me wrong--I'm glad for my alma mater (I got my Ph.D. at ND).
And certainly there is every reason to expect that ND football will soon again come back to prominence, and when that happens, that will mean good Saturday afternoon TV ratings for NBC.
But here's a reason, of which I was unaware before reading the above article, that may have contributed to NBC's decision:

"The new deal reflects a desire to stick together even in hard times; NBC had plenty of time to wait for the team to improve before deciding if it wanted to extend the deal. “When Notre Dame is good, and they’re often quite good, they bring more attention to football than anyone else,” Ken Schanzer, the president of NBC Sports, said by telephone. Schanzer has a son and a daughter at Notre Dame. The eldest son of Dick Ebersol, the chairman of NBC Sports, is a graduate."

So the president of NBC sports is an ND grad, and his children go there. Nah, that couldn't have had anything to do with it, no way...