When it comes to college football, no brand has been able to uniquely position itself like Notre Dame. As part of a partnership with developer WMT, the Fighting Irish have launched an online offering that allows fans the opportunity to stream games from NBC as part of their new over-the-top (OTT) offering, and much more.
Arguably the strongest brand in all of colligate football, Notre Dame has been uniquely positioned as a national icon through their exclusive media rights deal to show games nationally on NBC. The partnership with the network dates back to 1991, where the Fighting Irish gained national prominence while retaining their place as an independent program.
Now Notre Dame has launched Fighting Irish TV as a free streaming service. The app, available for download via Google Play, Apple TV, and Amazon AMZN where those that have the Fire Stick and stream directly to their television. The addition of Fighting Irish TV continues to be a part of a multi-year partnership with Miami-based web developer WMT who has become a boutique turnkey solution for a variety of collegiate sports programs including LSU, Clemson, the Kansas Jayhawks, the University of Miami, and more.
For Notre Dame, selecting WMT came with an extensive vision of what their online and mobile offerings would provide to fans.
“We plotted our digital roadmap ahead of selecting the WMT as the vendor for Notre Dame,” said Rob Kelly, who leads Fighting Irish Media. That road map saw WMT start in July of 2019 with web hosting and a new look for the Fighting Irish website. In 2020 they delivered a mobile offering, and now the streaming aspect.
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Asked about financial terms, Notre Dame and WMT declined to comment.
A massive draw for Fighting Irish TV leans heavily into archival footage from not only games but commentary from coaches and more.
No other program in college football can do what we can when it comes to media rights,” said Kelly. “We have the partnership with NBC and so we have we own all the rights to our own games. There’s no other school that can do that. It just makes sense for us to be able to have our own OTT platform where we can house all of our archival content.”
For WMT, they have been able to provide the build-out aspects such as online ticketing they see Notre Dame as having a rich brand from which to grab fans.
“We wanted to build a platform for which there is a large fan appetite and provide an ocean content that they can access from their couch,” said Andres Focil, the Founder and CEO of WMT.
Other streaming content included the exclusive broadcast of Notre Dame Pro Day at the end of March and coming up, the Fighting Irish’s Spring Game on May 1st.
As to how Notre Dame plans to monetize the new Fighting Irish TV, Walsh said that for now, they are simply looking at it as a way to continue with fan engagement after seeing success with the program’s online offerings during the 2020 pandemic season.