The ACC announced Wednesday it will have an 11 game football season this fall, public health guidelines permitting, with Notre Dame playing a full league schedule.
As part of the deal approved by the conference’s board of directors, all TV revenue from the season – including Notre Dame home games on NBC – will be shared among the 15 schools.
“Today’s decision was made after months of thoughtful planning by numerous individuals throughout the conference,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. “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.”
The Fighting Irish and the ACC schools will each play 10 conference games and will be allowed one in-state, non-conference opponent. Non-conference teams will have to meet the ACC’s medical safety requirements.
The 11 games will be played over at least 13 weeks, which includes two bye weeks.
The conference will not be divided into its usual Atlantic and Coastal divisions for the 2020 season only, and Notre Dame will be eligible for the ACC championship game. The two teams with the highest winning percentage overall will advance to the conference championship.
If not selected as a College Football Playoff semifinalist, Notre Dame and the other 14 teams would all be eligible for the ACC’s Orange Bowl spot.
In 2013, Notre Dame and NBC signed a contract extension reportedly worth $15 million that runs from 2016-2025 and gives the network global media rights on all platforms to a minimum of seven Fighting Irish home football games per year. NBC has had Notre Dame rights since 1991.
The ACC and ESPN launched the ACC Network, the result of a 20-year rights extension through the 2036 season, in 2019. That deal is worth $240 million annually.