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,[1] with two games so far broadcast live on NBC Sports's cable channel, NBCSN.

Notre Dame Football on NBC
Notre Dame Football logo 2017.png
Also known asNotre Dame Football on NBCSN
Notre Dame Football on USA
GenreCollege football telecasts
Presented byPaul Burmeister
Mike Tirico
Tony Dungy
Kathryn Tappen
Terry McAulay
Jac Collinsworth
Doug Flutie
Theme music composerJohn Colby
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons30
No. of episodes197 (as of September 19, 2020)
Production location(s)Notre Dame Stadium
South Bend, Indiana, U.S. (Regular season)
Various NCAA stadiums
(Shamrock Series)
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time210 minutes or until game ends (inc. adverts)
Production company(s)National Collegiate Athletic Association
NBC Sports
Original networkNBC
Universo via Telemundo Deportes
(Spanish simulcasts of select games)
Picture format480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original releaseSeptember 7, 1991 (1991-09-07) –
Related showsCollege Football on NBCSN
External links

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.

It is the first time in history that NBC is broadcasting all of the home games as part the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) during the COVID-19 pandemic for the 2020 season.[2]


Notre Dame had previously had exclusive television deals with the DuMont Television Network in 1950[3] and ABC in 1953. In 1976, Notre Dame was one of 67 schools to form the College Football Association (CFA) and pool their television rights.[4] However, by the second half of the 1980s, Notre Dame became one of the most valuable and recognizable teams on national television and was unhappy with deals signed by the CFA that emphasized regional games.[5][4]

On August 25, 1991, NBC broke away from the CFA and signed a five-year broadcasting contract with the University of Notre Dame, worth $38 million. The deal surprised the college football world and left many of the other CFA member unhappy with Notre Dame.[6][5] 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.[7] The last Notre Dame home game to be on a broadcast network outside of NBC was on October 20, 1990 (with the Irish taking on Miami) on CBS (with Jim Nantz, Tim Brant and John Dockery on the call). And then on November 17, the Irish played their final home game of 1990 against Penn State, in a game that was broadcast by ESPN (with Ron Franklin, Gary Danielson and Neil Lomax on the call).

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.[8]

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.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10] Revenue from the deal will continue to aid non-athlete student financial assistance.[11]

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.[12]

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.[13]

On September 30, 2017, NBCSN broadcast its second live Notre Dame game, against Miami (OH) held at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend.

On September 1, 2020, NBC announced that Notre Dame's September 19 game against South Florida at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend would be broadcast on sister channel USA Network, their first American football game since 1992. The move was made due to NBC's coverage of the 2020 U.S. Open (golf).[14]





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  1. ^ "NBC presents the first game of its new Notre Dame football package". NBC Sports History Page.
  2. ^ Hart, Torrey (July 29, 2020). "Notre Dame Football to join ACC for 2020 season, Share NBC Revenue". Front Office Sports. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Carter, Bill. "Notre Dame Breaks Ranks on TV Football Rights".
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ a b Hansen, Eric (November 28, 2012). "Notre Dame football: ND-USC showdown a TV hit". South Bend Tribune. Schurz Communications. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  9. ^ Arnold, Keith (April 9, 2013). "Notre Dame & NBC Sports renew partnership". NBC Sports. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  10. ^ Hamilton, Brian (April 18, 2013). "Notre Dame, NBC renew deal through 2025". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  11. ^ "NBC's Notre Dame deal extended". ESPN. Associated Press. April 18, 2013. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  12. ^ "NBCSN to air ND vs. BC Shamrock Series Game Saturday". University of Notre Dame. CBS Interactive. November 20, 2015. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  13. ^ Umstead, R. Thomas (September 8, 2016). "DirecTV To Offer Notre Dame Football Telecasts In 4K". Multichannel News. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  14. ^ Vowles, Joshua (September 1, 2020). "Notre Dame football announces home kickoff times for the 2020 season". One Foot Down. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
  15. ^ Lepore, Steve (July 10, 2014). "NBC Hires Kathryn Tappen as Notre Dame Sideline Reporter, NHL Host". Awful Announcing. Retrieved September 22, 2014.
  16. ^ a b "Great Games". Retrieved January 24, 2010.
  17. ^ "Notre Dame & NBC Sports Group renew historic football partnership". NBC Sports. April 18, 2013. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  18. ^ 1995 Notre Dame vs. USC - Kinnon Tatum on YouTube
  19. ^ "Jim Gray biography" (PDF). Retrieved January 24, 2010.

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