Notre Dame Football on NBC is a presentation of college football games involving the Notre Dame Fighting Irish that are produced by NBC Sports, the sports division of the NBC television network in the United States. NBC has broadcast all Notre Dame home games since September 7, 1991, with 2 games so far broadcast live on NBC Sports's sports cable channel, NBCSN.
Since NBC began airing Notre Dame home football games in 1991, the network's deal with the university has ensured that all of its home games are on national broadcast television, a unique configuration among American sports. Most of the games are televised in the afternoon, usually starting at 3:30 p.m. ET. Since 2011, 2 significant home games per year were shown during prime time at 7:30 p.m. ET. The games were typically planned around NBC's schedule of such sporting events which are Golf Channel and Thoroughbred Racing on NBC and include full-game replays on NBCSN.
|Notre Dame Football on NBC|
|Also known as||Notre Dame Football on NBCSN|
|Genre||College football telecasts|
|Theme music composer||John Colby|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||26|
|No. of episodes||174 (through 2016)|
|Locations||Notre Dame Stadium
Notre Dame, Indiana, U.S.
|Running time||210 minutes or until game ends|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Original release||September 7, 1991 – present|
|Related shows||College Football on NBCSN|
Notre Dame had previously had exclusive television deals with the DuMont Television Network in 1950 and ABC in 1953.
On August 25, 1991, NBC signed a 5 year broadcasting contract with the University of Notre Dame, worth $38 million. Notre Dame got half of the $7.6 million that NBC paid for the rights each year of the deal and its opponent received the other half.
The network's 1993 broadcast of the game between Florida State Seminoles and Notre Dame (ranked as the #1 and #2 college football teams at the time) is still the most-watched regular season college football game since NBC began carrying the Fighting Irish's games.
In 2009, Notre Dame began to play 1 home game each year at a neutral site outside of the university's South Bend, Indiana campus for recruitment and exposure purposes, which are broadcast nationally on NBC as part of the television deal with 7:30 p.m. Eastern start times under the banner of the Shamrock Series. This was initiated with a late October 2009 game against Washington State at the Alamodome in San Antonio. A November 2010 matchup against Army at Yankee Stadium, which NBC also televised, was also a Notre Dame home game, despite West Point's proximity to the Tri-State area. Notre Dame battled Miami (FL) at Soldier Field in 2012 and met Arizona State at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas in 2013, a year later Notre Dame played Purdue at Lucas Oil Stadium and in 2015, Notre Dame played against Boston College at Fenway Park.
Ratings for NBC's Notre Dame game telecasts had slumped to historic lows during the 2011 season, coinciding with average performances of the team on the football field over the past several years; however, the recent resurgence in the program under Brian Kelly in 2012 has resulted in the network's highest game viewership since 2005.
In 2011, sister channel Versus (now NBCSN) began airing rebroadcasts of past Notre Dame games, including those aired on NBC over the years. Previously via NBC's rights deal, sister cable network Universal HD aired same-week reruns of Notre Dame home games until NBCUniversal's January 2011 merger with Comcast. The deal has also been expanded to cover some games of the university's hockey team.
On April 9, 2013, NBC Sports renewed its broadcasting contract with Notre Dame for 10 years through the 2025 season. Double the length of prior contract extension deals, the agreement allows NBC Sports the rights to a minimum of 7 home games to be broadcast/season, with NBC Sports Network also acquiring rights to select games beginning in 2016. While most games traditionally are held at 3:30 p.m. Eastern on Saturdays, some games will be held during primetime. Revenue from the deal will continue to aid non-athlete student financial assistance. On November 21, 2015, NBCSN broadcast its first live Notre Dame game, a neutral site night game against Boston College held at Boston's Fenway Park as part of the Shamrock Series.
On September 8, 2016, NBC announced that all Notre Dame home games during the 2016 season would be broadcast in 4K ultra-high-definition television exclusively on DirecTV.
- Doug Flutie – color commentator (2014–present)
- Liam McHugh – studio host (2013–present)
- Chris Simms – studio analyst (2017–present)
- Kathryn Tappen – sideline reporter (2014–present)
- Mike Tirico – play-by-play announcer (2016–present)
- Paul Burmeister (2017)
- Don Criqui (1994–1997)
- Dick Enberg (1991, 1993, 1998–1999)
- Tom Hammond (1992–1997, 2000–2015)
- Dan Hicks (2002 and 2011–2016)
- Charlie Jones (1993–1997)
- Craig Minervini (2000) – Minervini filled in for Tom Hammond for the September 9, 2000 game against Nebraska, and the following week's game involving Purdue. Hammond was preparing for and subsequently, assigned to work on NBC's coverage of the Summer Olympic telecasts in Sydney, Australia.
Color commentary Edit
- Todd Christensen (1993)
- Randy Cross (1994–1996)
- Pat Haden (1998–2009)
- Paul Maguire (1995)
- Mike Mayock (2010–2014)
- Beasley Reece (1996)
- Phil Simms (1995)
- Bob Trumpy (1993 and 1995–1997)
- Bill Walsh (1991)
Sideline reporters Edit
- John Dockery (1991–1997)
- Alex Flanagan (2007–2013)
- Jim Gray (1998–2001)
- Lewis Johnson (2002–2006)
Studio hosts Edit
- Dhani Jones (2016)
- Jonathan Vilma (2015)
- Hines Ward (2013–2015)