Dick Ebersol is a legend of broadcasting. He practically invented the Tom Rinaldi emo profile, and also developed and perfected the concept of aged news by introducing tape-delay to the Olympics. You may also know Dick Ebersol for greenlighting "Saturday Night Live," and thus giving money to Seth Meyers. After a recent contract dispute with NBC, he is looking for work. Simultaneously, Notre Dame is considering their own network.
A meeting room in South Bend, Indiana.
Good morning, gentlemen. It's good to see all of you here at Notre Dame again. Hello, Regis. Hello, Father Spider God. It's great to see you again, Father Pantsworthy. I won't tell anyone you're still alive, General Pinochet, but you look fantastic if I may say so myself. Hello, Nicholas Sparks. My pets adore your children's books.
I'm going to need a slide projector. Powerpoint? No, no. A passing fad, I'm sure you'll agree.
[THEY HARUMPH IN UNISON]
Okay, gentlemen, you know I'm a big believer in Notre Dame football, a spectacle of sport so titanic I believe it ranks second only to the Olympic Games in its splendor. I believe its worth transcends dollars, and that's why any network worth its salt would pay sums of money others would deem deranged for the privilege of broadcasting your games.
More importantly, I believe I am the man to run your network. I have vision. I have this American Flag sweater. I have the experience of running a sports network. And most importantly, I have experience working with leprechauns.
[a chuckle/harumph ripples through the room.]
My point plan for starting the greatest network built on a single outcast Big East football program follows. If you cannot keep up, my secretary is busy mimeographing copies of this for you. Dinah! Please, hold my cordless phone. I'm going to be busy for a few minutes.
First, gentlemen. We must buy the Olympics. This may seem like a steep price to pay, but i believe the IOC would be willing to nullify the current NBC deal if we pony up somewhere in the range of $12 to $14 billion. You say, "Dick, that's three to four times what NBC is paying for it?" And you know what I say?
Ebersol opens the door and the room is flooded with Corgi puppies.
See? That's what I'm talking about. A billion here, a billion there, and no one really cares because in the end everyone gets a puppy. If my argument is unclear to you, I'm afraid it can't be explained, and we won't be coming back to it.
Second, we will need the best announcing team possible for Notre Dame football, and I believe I have just that team. First we'll need a play-by-play man, and I believe there's only one answer.
Youth. Energy. An independent voice for an independent team. A real passion for quality brands like Budweiser, Pepsi, and Notre Dame. I believe Joe Buck can be ours for the low price of $22 or perhaps $23 million a year. I can feel the excitement in the air, can't you? It's almost like kickoff before the Notre Dame at Purdue, I tell you. Is it cold in here, or do I have goosebumps? I think you should make that coffee because the echoes are awake and probably need a little java.
But who needs coffee when we put these two in the booth together? Are you ready, gentlemen? I know you're not, but that's too bad. BOOM.
...wait, wait, there's more as we proceed into the TEMPLE OF DOUBLE BOOM!
I know the kids think magic begins and ends with popular contemporary magician Doug Henning, but I'd knock the headphones out of their ears, press 'stop' on their Sony Walkmans, and ask them to reconsider when they see this booth weaving their sorcery on a Saturday in South Bend. We can get both for $13 million a piece, and it would be worth every dollar, gentlemen.
Finally, I think we have to consider original programming. Though Notre Dame can offer a full slate of classic sports programming, today's viewer is a unique bird. Gentlemen, the landscape has changed. I'm told the average television viewer no longer has three or four choices for programming. No, some cable television viewers have upwards of twenty-five different channels to choose from! It's twenty-five, isn't it, Dinah? Yes? One hundred twenty-five? Oh, that' can't be right. We'll agree to disagree.
So with up to twenty-five different channels, we've got to compete, and do so like we've never done before. If Texas is going to offer original programming, we're going to have to do the same. I have a short list of projects that we can have up and running just in time for a September launch.
BAKE UP THE ECHOES. A cooking show with America's favorite coach, Lou Holtz, and my wife Susan St. James. Holtz can be had for somewhere around $3 million a year, but just to be sure I've offered him $11 million.
FORT WAYNE CONFIDENTIAL. A gritty crime drama starring Brian Kelly as a grizzled detective on the beat who has to deal with a raw rookie. I've contacted one of Hollywood's leading young stars to play the role of Scotty Scorpio, the hotheaded detective. Andrew Shue won't let you down, I promise. Oh, and Brian Kelly's catchphrase when he gets a guy? Are you ready? "Looks like someone didn't have...the luck of the Irish." In the middle of that phrase he puts on sunglasses. It's original, and people are going to love it.
DOGS VERSUS REGIS PHILBIN. A fitness show with a reality survival twist. If you love Notre Dame you'll do it, Reege. Just kidding! But I'm not.
NICHOLAS SPARKS' SUPERFRIENDS. We repurpose the classic NBC franchise, but they're all in love on an island during World War Two or something. I dunno, but women would love it, I think. I'm just spitballing, Nicholas. Aquaman as a divorced parent in love with a whale librarian single mother or something? This is your thing, but please, don't hesitate to jump in here when you get an idea.
- Brian Dennehy is OFFICER BUCKLES OF THE INDIANA EXCISE POLICE. Arguably one of the hottest television stars of our time, we uncover the drama behind Notre Dame tailgating. No one will slap a beer can from a minor's hand and concuss him with a nightstick like Officer Buckles!
CHARLIE'S MANGLES. A series of lowlights from the Weis era, and wait, wait--WE'LL COLORIZE THEM AND SET THEM TO THE HARD-DRIVING MUSIC OF MUSIC SUPERSTARS HALL AND OATES.
Finally, gentlemen, we tape delay every Notre Dame game by at least eight hours. Like wine, beef, and marshmallow Peeps, sports programming is best when we let it age a bit. I hand-aged every hour of the Olympics myself, and it led to some of our nation's greatest moments. Who could forget Apolo Ohno winning silver in the 2010 1500 m because two South Koreans fell down, or even that most transcendent of sporting moments, Peter and Pavel Hochschorner taking golds in canoeing in 2008? And they said Slovakia would never amount to anything! Not in Dick Ebersol's world, sir!
Besides, how else are they going to find out who won the game? The papers don't even come out until early the next morning! HAHAHAHHAHHAHAA.
I am willing to do all of this for your network for the low price of $42 million a year. Consider my offer. When you say yes, you may contact me at my cottage on Martha's Vineyard via Telex.
Thank you for your time, and GO IRISH.