Notre Dame seems to be making the first step on to what may be a slippery, but lucrative slope.

It was announced today that the home season opener will be available for view exclusively on the NBC owned Peacock Premium streaming service, and not available over the air. All other home games will also stream on Peacock but also air as usual on NBC.

The Toledo game coverage will kickoff at 2:30 PM ET, September 11. Recently retired NFL great Drew Brees will debut that day as game analyst and Mike Tirico will again handle play -by-play duty.

Apparently there will be a charge for the service. The cost to subscribe to Peacock Premium is, as listed on the Peacock website, $4.99 per month. Prior to the game Peacock plans to make a limited time offer to save on Peacock Premium during the football season. Details of that offer will be available on August 11.

Currently Peacock Premium is included at no additional cost on some Comcast tiers of service and on Cox Cable.

2021 marks the 31st season since Notre Dame and NBC signed a landmark contract for the exclusive right to televise home Notre Dame football games. At its inception one of the announced benefits to the arrangement was that all ND home games would be consistently available over the air to the millions of Notre Dame fans across the continent.

But the way video content is delivered to consumers has transformed since that contract was signed. There has been a tidal wave societal trend of “cord cutting”, and with smart TVs proliferating, streaming services are everywhere and many consumers are now comfortable with them.

According to Forbes magazine as of March of 2019 69% of households had access to a streaming service. Undoubtedly that number has grown significantly since then.

But surely quite a few folks are going to wake up on September 11, without a way to watch the ND-Toledo game in their home, unless they get out their credit card and quickly sign up for Peacock. This fact, no doubt pleases NBC executives, and will add value to the ND-NBC relationship.

And I’m not sure how I feel about that.

By Phil Houk

For 25 years, bringing you the glory of Notre Dame football.

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