NBC College Football Game of the Week
The NBC College Football Game of the Week refers to nationally televised broadcasts of Saturday afternoon college football games that were produced by NBC Sports, the sports division of the NBC television network in the United States. Bowl games were always exempt from the NCAA's television regulations, and the games' organizers were free to sign rights deals with any network. In NBC's case, the 1952 Rose Bowl at the end of that particular season was the first national telecast of a college bowl game.
NBC first televised college football on September 30, 1939. NBC broadcast the game between Waynesburg and Fordham on station W2XBS (which would eventually become NBC's flagship station, WNBC) with one camera and Bill Stern was the sole announcer. Estimates are that the broadcast reached approximately 1,000 television sets. Twelve years later, the first live regular season college football game to be broadcast coast-to-coast aired on NBC. The game in question, was Duke at the University of Pittsburgh on September 29, 1951.
Pretty soon on June 6, 1952, NBC Head of Sport Tom Gallery led negotiations towards a one-year football contract (for $1,144,000) with the NCAA. The contract incidentally came about after the 1951 NCAA convention voted 161-7 to outlaw televised games except for those licensed by the NCAA staff. The deal allowed NBC to select one game a week to broadcast on Saturday afternoons, with the assurance that no other NCAA college football broadcast would appear on a competitive network. In the first college football game to be broadcast under this new NCAA television contract, on September 20, Kansas defeated TCU 13–0.
By 1953, the NCAA allowed NBC to add what it called "panorama" coverage of multiple regional broadcasts for certain weeks – shifting national viewers to the most interesting game during its telecast. After NBC lost its college football contract following the 1953 season, they carried Canadian football in 1954. NBC regained college football rights in 1955 and aired games through the 1959 season. NBC regained the NCAA contract for the 1964 and 1965 seasons
Even after losing the rights to regular season college football in both 1959 and 1965, NBC continued to carry postseason football. NBC carried the Blue–Gray Football Classic, an all-star game, on Christmas Day, until dropping the game in 1963 as a protest of the game's policy of segregation. It consistently served as the Rose Bowl's television home until 1988 and added the Sugar Bowl from 1958 to 1969 (which replaced the network's coverage of the Cotton Bowl Classic).
- Mel Allen (1952–1957)
- Lee Giroux (1956)
- Chick Hearn (1957, 1965)
- Lindsey Nelson (1953, 1955-1959, 1964–65)
- Jim Simpson (1957)
- Frankie Albert (1965; with Chick Hearn)
- Terry Brennan (1964–65; with Lindsey Nelson)
- Leo Durocher (1956; with Lee Giroux on west coast regional games)
- Bill Flemming (1957; with Mel Allen)
- Lee Giroux (1957; with Chick Hearn)
- Red Grange (1955–1959; with Lindsey Nelson)
- Charley Harville (1957; with Jim Simpson on southeast games)
- Bill Henry (1952)
- Bill Munday (1953; with Lindsey Nelson)
- Lindsey Nelson (1953; with Mel Allen)
- Bill Voights (1956; with Mel Allen on midwest regional games)
- Bud Wilkinson (1964–65; with Lindsey Nelson)
Mel Allen and Bill Henry served as the primary broadcast crew.
|September 20||Texas Christian @ Kansas||3:45pm|
|September 27||Princeton @ Columbia||1:25pm|
|October 4||Michigan @ Stanford||4:40pm|
|October 11||Texas A&M @ Michigan State||1:45pm|
|October 18||Cornell @ Yale||1:45pm|
|October 25||Purdue @ Illinois||2:15pm|
|November 1||Ohio State @ Northwestern||2:15pm|
|November 8||Oklahoma @ Notre Dame||2:15pm|
|November 15||Alabama @ Georgia Tech||2:15pm|
|November 22||UCLA @ Southern California||4:45pm|
|November 29||ARMY-NAVY Game||1pm|
Mel Allen and Lindsey Nelson served as the primary broadcast crew.
|September 19||Oregon @ Nebraska||3:45pm|
|September 26||Dartmouth @ Holy Cross (@ Lynn, MA)||1:45pm|
|October 3||Ohio State @ California||4:45pm|
|October 10||Oklahoma @ Texas (from Dallas, TX)||2:30pm|
|October 17||Tennessee @ Alabama||2:45pm|
|October 24||Mississippi @ Arkansas
Princeton @ Cornell
Syracuse @ Illinois
Indiana @ Iowa
|October 31||Pittsburgh @ Minnesota||2:45pm|
|November 7||Wisconsin @ Northwestern||2:45pm|
|November 14||Michigan @ Michigan State||1:15pm|
|November 21||Southern California @ UCLA||4:15pm|
|November 26||Brigham Young @ Utah||2:45pm|
|November 28||Army-Navy Game (PHI)||1:15pm|
Lindsey Nelson and Bill Munday called the Georgia-Florida on November 28.
Lindsey Nelson and Red Grange served as the primary broadcast crew.
|September 17||Miami @ Georgia Tech||3:15pm|
|September 24||Pittsburgh @ Syracuse||1:15pm|
|October 1||Ohio State @ Stanford||4:45pm|
|October 8||Villanova @ Boston College||1:45pm|
|October 15||Notre Dame @ Michigan State||2:45pm|
|October 22||Princeton @ Cornell||1:45pm|
|October 29||Iowa @ Michigan||2:15pm|
|November 5||Notre Dame @ Pennsylvania||1:15pm|
|November 12||Navy @ Columbia||1:15pm|
|November 19||UCLA @ Southern California||4:15pm|
|November 24||Texas @ Texas A&M||2pm|
|November 26||ARMY-NAVY Game||1:15pm|
|December 3||Duke @ North Carolina||1:45pm|
Lindsey Nelson and Red Grange served as the primary broadcast crew.
|September 22||Georgia Tech @ Kentucky||3pm|
|September 29||Cornell @ Colgate||1:45pm|
|October 6||Arkansas @ Texas Christian||4pm|
|October 13||Holy Cross @ Penn State||1:45pm|
|October 20||Army @ Syracuse||1:45pm|
|October 27||Oklahoma @ Notre Dame||2:45pm|
|November 3||Notre Dame @ Navy (from Baltimore)||1:45pm|
|November 10||Iowa @ Minnesota||2:15pm|
|November 17||Princeton @ Yale||1:45pm|
|November 22||Cornell @ Pennsylvania||1:45pm|
|November 24||Southern California @ UCLA||4:15pm|
|December 1||ARMY-NAVY Game (from Philadelphia)||1:15pm|
|December 8||Pittsburgh @ Miami||2:15pm|
Lindsey Nelson and Red Grange served as the primary broadcast crew. On October 12 and 26 and November 9, 23 and 28, NBC showed regional games with Mel Allen/Bill Flemming (midwest), Jim Simpson/Charley Harville (southeast), and Chick Hearn/Lee Giroux (west).
|September 21||Maryland @ Texas A&M (from Dallas, TX)||4:45pm|
|September 28||Northwestern @ Stanford||4:45pm|
|October 5||Michigan State @ California||5:15pm|
|October 12||Notre Dame @ Army (from Philadelphia)||1:45pm|
|October 19||Minnesota @ Illinois||2:15pm|
|October 26||Penn State @ Syracuse||1:15pm|
|November 2||Iowa @ Michigan||1:15pm|
|November 9||Duke @ Navy (from Baltimore)||1:45pm|
|November 16||Notre Dame @ Oklahoma||2:45pm|
|November 23||Harvard @ Yale||1:15pm|
|November 28||Colgate @ Brown||1:15pm|
|November 30||ARMY-NAVY Game (from Philadelphia)||1:15pm|
|December 7||Pittsburgh @ Miami||3:45pm|
|September 20||Vanderbilt @ Missouri||4:45pm|
|September 27||Tennessee @ Auburn||4:45pm|
|October 4||Washington State @ California||4:45pm|
|October 11||Ohio State @ Illinois||2:15pm|
|October 18||Penn State @ Boston University||1:15pm|
|October 25||Army @ Pittsburgh||1:15pm|
|November 1||Michigan State @ Wisconsin||1:15pm|
|November 8||Notre Dame @ Pittsburgh||1:15pm|
|November 15||Princeton @ Yale||1:15pm|
|November 22||Notre Dame @ Iowa||2:15pm|
|November 27||Texas A&M @ Texas||2:45pm|
|November 29||ARMY-NAVY Game (from Philadelphia)||1:15pm|
|December 6||Holy Cross @ Boston College||1:15pm|
|September 19||Rice @ Louisiana State||4:45pm|
|September 26||Oklahoma @ Northwestern||3:15pm|
|October 3||California @ Texas||5:15pm|
|October 10||Pennsylvania @ Princeton||1:45pm|
|October 17||Notre Dame @ Michigan State||2:15pm|
|October 24||Iowa @ Purdue||3:15pm|
|October 31||Army vs. Air Force (from Yankee Stadium in New York)||1:45pm|
|November 7 (DOUBLEHEADER)||Pittsburgh @ Boston College
Air Force @ Missouri
|November 14||Pittsburgh @ Notre Dame||1:15pm|
|November 21||Wisconsin @ Minnesota||2:15pm|
|November 26||Duke @ North Carolina||1:45pm|
|November 28||ARMY-NAVY Game (from Philadelphia)||1:15pm|
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