Notre Dame peaks at right time for TV deal

Don’t expect to see Notre Dame joining the ACC or any other conference for football anytime soon. Being the No. 1 team in the country and earning a berth in the BCS National Championship assures that a healthy new broadcast rights deal from NBC is just around the corner -- one that will pay the university enough dissuade it from joining a conference.

“The timing couldn’t be better for Notre Dame to be No. 1,” said Lee Berke, president and CEO of sports media consulting firm LHB Sports, Entertainment & Media. “For Notre Dame to become Notre Dame again -- a national team with a substantial, powerful following for its football team … you couldn’t plan it out better.”

Berke said winning the title would be icing on the cake, even though the university’s current TV contract is not up until 2015.

“The important thing is that they made it to the game,” Berke said. “They generated strong ratings. [The game against] USC was the highest-rated college football game of the year. The BCS National Championship could potentially be the largest audience for a college football game ever.

“From an off-the-field standpoint, they already accomplished what they needed to accomplish. Ultimately, they made the statement ‘Notre Dame is back,’ and that’s what they need.”

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