NBC College Football Game of the Week

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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.[1]

Background[edit]

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[2] was the sole announcer. Estimates are that the broadcast reached approximately 1,000 television sets.[3] Twelve years later, the first live regular season college football game to be broadcast coast-to-coast aired on NBC.[4][5] The game in question, was Duke at the University of Pittsburgh on September 29, 1951.

Pretty soon on June 6,[6] 1952, NBC Head of Sport Tom Gallery[7] led negotiations towards a one-year[8] football contract[9] (for $1,144,000[10]) 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[11] allowed NBC to select one game a week[12] 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.[13] 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.[14] 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).

Commentators[edit]

Play-by-play[edit]

Color commentary[edit]

Red Grange (top) with broadcast partner Lindsey Nelson for NBC's NCAA Game of the Week coverage, 1955.
  • 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)

Schedules[edit]

1952[edit]

Mel Allen and Bill Henry served as the primary broadcast crew.

Date Teams Time (EST)
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

1953[edit]

Mel Allen and Lindsey Nelson served as the primary broadcast crew.

Date Teams Time (EST)
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
2:45pm
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.

1955[edit]

Lindsey Nelson and Red Grange served as the primary broadcast crew.

Date Teams Time (EST)
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

1956[edit]

Lindsey Nelson and Red Grange served as the primary broadcast crew.

Date Teams Time (EST)
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

1957[edit]

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).

Date Teams Time (EST)
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

1958[edit]

Date Teams Time (EST)
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

1959[edit]

Date Teams Time (EST)
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
1:15pm
4pm
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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rose Bowl Game History — KTLA". Archived from the original on 2008-03-08. Retrieved 2008-05-28.
  2. ^ "BILL STERN (Audio) - Gold Time Radio - Jim Ramsburg". Jim Ramsburg.
  3. ^ "First televised football game, Waynesberg vs Fordham, 1939". American Sportscasters Online. Retrieved February 11, 2011.
  4. ^ Pedersen, Paul M.; Parks, Janet B.; Quarterman, Jerome; Thibault, Lucie, eds. (2011). Contemporary Sport Management (4th ed.). Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics. p. 50. ISBN 978-0-7360-8167-2. Retrieved 2012-03-25.
  5. ^ Watterson, John Sayle. College Football: History, Spectacle, Controversy. p. 270.
  6. ^ Branch, Taylor (October 2011). "The Shame of College Sports". The Atlantic.
  7. ^ "NBC acquires rights to NCAA football". NBC Sports History Page.
  8. ^ Weber, Bruce (May 27, 2015). "Walter Byers, Ex-N.C.A.A. Leader Who Rued Corruption, Dies at 93". New York Times.
  9. ^ Fleisher, Arthur A. (53). The National Collegiate Athletic Association: A Study in Cartel Behavior. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  10. ^ Zimbalist, Andrew. Unpaid Professionals: Commercialism and Conflict in Big-Time College Sports. p. 94.
  11. ^ Wolters, Larry (June 12, 1952). "June 12, 1952 - TELEVISION NEWS AND VIEWS". Chicago Tribune.
  12. ^ Byers, Walter. Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Exploiting College Athletes. pp. 79–96. JSTOR 10.3998/mpub.14486.
  13. ^ "Why Football on TV is Limited". Look. October 20, 1953(The "primary purpose is to reduce the impact of the television upon game attendance")
  14. ^ "Blue-Gray Telecast Is Killed". The Anniston Star. Anniston, Alabama. UPI. November 9, 1963. Retrieved June 1, 2017 – via newspapers.com.
  15. ^ "Record Book-2 2008:Layout 1" (PDF). SIDEARM Sports.