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Notre Dame to play for ACC championship, share NBC revenue in 2020

Notre Dame to play for ACC championship, share NBC revenue in 2020


For the first time in 133 years, Notre Dame football will have a chance to win a conference championship.

The Irish have been independent since their storied football program began in 1887. It took the global coronavirus pandemic to get the program into a conference, albeit for one season.

In 2020, the Irish will play a 10-game Atlantic Coast Conference schedule, the ACC announced Wednesday.

The Irish partnered with NBC in 1991 to be the exclusive broadcast network for home football games. That revenue, which is valued at $15 million annually after an extension that began in 2016, will be shared with all 15 ACC members.

The Irish have been members of the ACC since 2014 in all sports except for football due to the NBC contract. However the program is required to play five ACC opponents each year.

“(Wednesday's) decision was made after months of thoughtful planning by numerous individuals throughout the conference,” ACC commissioner John Swofford said. “The board’s decision presents a path, if public health guidance allows, to move forward with competition. Our institutions are committed to taking the necessary measures to facilitate the return in a safe and responsible manner. We recognize that we may need to be nimble and make adjustments in the future. We will be as prepared as possible should that need arise.”

What a fluid football season could look like in 2020

This season, Notre Dame will host Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Louisville and Syracuse. The Irish will visit Boston College, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Wake Forest. 

The league schedule, which accounts for 11 games in 13 weeks with two open dates, will be released at a later date. Notre Dame can play one nonconference game but it must be hosted in Indiana. The first week of games for all ACC athletics will be Sept. 7-12.

Both the Atlantic and Coastal divisions have been eliminated and the two teams with the highest league winning percentage will compete for the ACC Championship at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina on either Dec. 12 or Dec. 19.

As it has since an agreement with the ACC, the Irish will align with the ACC's bowl partnerships. That includes the Orange Bowl or College Football Playoff.

Olympic sports will play a conference schedule of the necessary number of games to be eligible for NCAA postseason play. Any additional regular season games will be decided upon by each school and must meet the ACC's medical requirements.

Teams in all sports can practice through the fall but competition has been canceled for baseball, softball, men's and women's golf, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's lacrosse and rowing. Swimming and diving, fencing and indoor track and field have been postponed to Sept. 10.

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