For years I've just thought the Notre Dame-NBC TV deal was just annoying and a weekly reminder of Notre Dame's national fan presence (and possibly a major journalistic conflict of interest for NBC, whose alleged sports reporters are turned into flat-out special-access shills for a certain team).
Since reading "Under the Tarnished Dome," I've become aware of true wrongs committed by ND on their way to having their own network. The book is salacious and dripping with semi-substantiated and unfalsifiable salacious claims, but the facts of the NBC TV deal can't be impeached.
Here's the story: ND was part of a 64-team alliance, the CFA, negotiating with ABC for a major broadcast contract. As the deal was being finalized, ND suddenly announced that they had signed with NBC. Indeed, they had clearly used the insider information - negotiating patterns and marketing numbers - they acquired in the ABC discussion to leverage NBC's offer.
The CFA negotiators were stunned, and the deal was agreed on sans Notre Dame (tres French) and minus ~20% of its value.
First off, as much as Notre Dame likes to laud itself as a leading university, this was a _major_ breach of any kind of etiquette, ethic or teamwork among colleges. (Supposedly a unified financial deal would enable colleges to grow their athletic enterprises equitably and with balance to one another.)
Secondly, (gotta drop this card) as a Catholic myself I find a Catholic institution squeezing every last dime out of a business deal, when there was plenty of cash on the table in the ABC deal, to be a bit stomach-turning. I found it a mix of avarice and attention-whorish (look! we're on TV sixteen times this season!)
Let me make an analogy: suppose Microsoft got together with some big computer makers to lay out some new standard or widget. MS would debate with the mfgers about which hardware specs would need to change, what the costs were, margins, compatibility issues, the works. Then imagine that weeks before the consortium was to release its report and start making the thing, MS announced they had partnered with a single manufacturer to do the same thing but, knowing the details from other companies, had fine-tuned the arrangement to be a guaranteed winner and give their sole-source partner a major advantage.
Or make it simpler, for the guys on the board. Let's say a bunch of you are at a bar and you spot a lady you want to use your irresistible skills on. You warm up your pickup lines, everyone agrees you'll go work your charms after you refill the drinks and then debrief the set. While you're waiting for your Guinness, one of the guys in your troupe goes up and asks her out using your routine. You'd probably want to go punch him in the face for jacking your material and pulling a competitive co**-block.