pay the money to buy the ticket. The TV contract probably pays the same no matter what the ratings are. In short, your arguments are exactly why the revenue stream off football right now isn't significantly different when we are a five loss team versus an undefeated team.
I don't think licensing changes much either -- given we are #2 in spite having 4 or more losses 7 of the last 8 years. The Disney effect ND has means people buy largely independent of our current standing.