Notre Dame Football on NBC
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 two games so far broadcast live on NBC Sports's sports cable channel, NBCSN.
|Notre Dame Football on NBC|
|Also known as||Notre Dame Football on NBCSN|
|Genre||College football telecasts|
|Presented by||Dan Hicks|
|Theme music composer||John Colby|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||28|
|No. of episodes||188 (as of November 17, 2018)|
|Production location(s)||Notre Dame Stadium|
South Bend, Indiana, U.S. (Regular season)
Various NCAA stadiums
(Bowl season and Shamrock Series)
|Running time||210 minutes or until game ends|
|Production company(s)||National Collegiate Athletic Association|
Universo via Telemundo Deportes
(Spanish simulcasts of select games)
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Original release||September 7, 1991 –|
|Related shows||College Football on 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 amongst American sports. Most of the games are televised in the afternoon, usually starting at 3:30 p.m. ET. Since 2011, two significant home games per year were shown during prime time at 7:30 p.m. ET, and are often played at neutral venues for the purposes of recruiting and financial benefits for playing at those sites. 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.
On August 25, 1991, NBC signed a five-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 one 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 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 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 ten years through the 2025 season. Double the length of prior contract extension deals, the agreement allows NBC Sports the rights to a minimum of seven home games to be broadcast per 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.
- Doug Flutie – color commentator (2014–present)
- Dan Hicks – play-by-play announcer (2002, 2011–2016 and 2019–present)
- Terry McAulay – rules analyst (2018–present)
- Liam McHugh – pregame/halftime host (2013–present)
- Chris Simms – pregame/halftime analyst (2017–present)
- Kathryn Tappen – sideline reporter (2014–present)
- Paul Burmeister (2017)
- Bob Costas (1993)
- Don Criqui (1994–1997)
- Dick Enberg (1991, 1993 and 1998–1999)
- Tom Hammond (1992–1997 and 2000–2015)
- 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.
- Mike Tirico (2016–2018)
- Todd Christensen (1993)
- Cris Collinsworth (1992–1994)
- 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)
- John Dockery (1991–1997)
- Alex Flanagan (2007–2013)
- Jim Gray (1998–2001)
- Lewis Johnson (2002–2006)
- O. J. Simpson (1991–1993)
- "NBC presents the first game of its new Notre Dame football package". NBC Sports History Page.
- Sandomir, Richard (August 25, 1991). "College Football; Notre Dame Scored a $38 Million Touchdown on Its TV Deal". The New York Times. Retrieved September 30, 2008.
- Hansen, Eric (November 28, 2012). "Notre Dame football: ND-USC showdown a TV hit". South Bend Tribune. Schurz Communications. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
- Arnold, Keith (April 9, 2013). "Notre Dame & NBC Sports renew partnership". NBC Sports. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
- Hamilton, Brian (April 18, 2013). "Notre Dame, NBC renew deal through 2025". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
- "NBC's Notre Dame deal extended". ESPN. Associated Press. April 18, 2013. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
- "NBCSN to air ND vs. BC Shamrock Series Game Saturday". University of Notre Dame. CBS Interactive. November 20, 2015. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
- Umstead, R. Thomas (September 8, 2016). "DirecTV To Offer Notre Dame Football Telecasts In 4K". Multichannel News. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
- "Notre Dame & NBC Sports Group renew historic football partnership". NBC Sports. April 18, 2013. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
- Lepore, Steve (July 10, 2014). "NBC Hires Kathryn Tappen as Notre Dame Sideline Reporter, NHL Host". Awful Announcing. Retrieved September 22, 2014.
- "Great Games". Tripod.com. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
- on YouTube
- "Jim Gray biography" (PDF). HarryWalker.com. Retrieved January 24, 2010.