The Oregon Ducks are expected to have a tremendous 2014 campaign in college football–but no one expected them to start beating national treasure Notre Dame so early in the season. Yet that’s just what happened over the weekend when the Michigan State/Oregon game outperformed the Notre Dame /Michigan game in the TV ratings. Oregon didn’t just outperform Notre Dame–they clobbered the Irish by 25%, scoring a 4.0 rating compared with Notre Dame’s 3.0
Notre Dame signed an unprecedented TV contract in April 2013 that extended the university’s partnership with NBC Sports though the year 2025. NBC has held the rights to broadcast Notre Dame football games since 1991. The new contract is estimated to be worth $15 million a year. The Oregon Ducks don’t have an exclusive deal with any network. Oregon games are televised as part of the package the university’s conference, the Pac-12, negotiated with partners ESPN and FOX. But don’t feel bad for the Ducks. That’s a 12-year deal worth $3 billion.