Notre Dame is in the process of finalizing a new television contract for football rights and is expected to continue its long-standing partnership with NBC. This decision comes as Pete Bevacqua, the new athletic director, was previously part of NBC, solidifying the relationship between the two entities.
One of Notre Dame’s priorities is securing exclusive rights to their preferred 3:30 p.m. time slot, which they believe aligns best with their national audience. They also aim to have control over ad slots for their “What Would You Fight For?” series while ensuring that the TV experience remains family-friendly, as the University distances itself from certain types of advertising, such as beer commercials.
However, the rise of sports gambling presents a dilemma. While Notre Dame will not directly engage with sportsbooks like DraftKings or FanDuel, these companies may indirectly benefit through partnerships with TV networks like NBC. This poses a challenge for a school with ties to the Catholic Church, as sports gambling may conflict with the Church’s teachings on gambling.
The University faces a significant decision regarding whether to include sports betting ads in its TV contract, with potential implications for its commitment to fostering an “authentic human community graced by the Spirit of Christ,” as outlined in its Mission Statement.
While the author refrains from providing a definitive answer, the column raises thought-provoking questions about the ethical implications of Notre Dame’s decision in the context of its values and the broader sports landscape.
Ultimately, the article seeks to initiate a deeper conversation around the complex intersection of sports, entertainment, and morality, recognizing the potential impact of Notre Dame’s choices on its supporters and the community.