Notre Dame Football on NBC
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|Notre Dame Football on NBC|
|Genre||College football telecasts|
|Presented by||Dan Hicks
(for former analysts and commentators, see section)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||24|
|No. of episodes||139 (through 2012)|
|Running time||210 minutes or until game ends|
|Production company(s)||NBC Sports|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV),
|Original release||September 7, 1991– present|
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 nearly all Notre Dame home games since 1991, with one game 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 amongst American sports. Most of the games are televised in the afternoon, usually starting at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Beginning in 2011, one significant home game per year is shown during prime time with a 7:30 p.m. Eastern start time. The games are typically planned around NBC's schedule of such sporting events as the Ryder Cup or Breeders' Cup, and include full-game replays on NBCSN.
In August 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.
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 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. 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, a game where that stadium saw its first football game since the Boston Patriots departed Fenway after their 1968 season.
- Liam McHugh – pregame/halftime host (2013–present)
- Jonathan Vilma – pregame/halftime analyst (2015–present)
- Hines Ward – pregame/halftime analyst (2013–present)
- Dan Hicks – play-by-play announcer (2002; 2011; 2013–present)
- Doug Flutie – color commentator (2014–present)
- Kathryn Tappen – sideline reporter (2014–present)
- Don Criqui (1994–1997)
- Dick Enberg (1991; 1993; 1998–1999)
- Tom Hammond (1992–1997, 2000–2012)
- 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.
- Todd Christensen (1993)
- Cris Collinsworth (1992; 1994)
- Randy Cross (1994–1996)
- Pat Haden (1998–2009; left to become athletic director at the University of Southern California)
- Paul Maguire (1995)
- Mike Mayock (2010–2014)
- Beasley Reece (1996)
- Phil Simms (1995)
- Bob Trumpy (1993; 1995–1997)
- Bill Walsh (1991)
- John Dockery (1991–1997)
- Alex Flanagan (2007–2013)
- Jim Gray (1998–2001)
- Lewis Johnson (2002–2006)
- Richard Sandomir (August 25, 1991). "College Football; Notre Dame Scored a $38 Million Touchdown on Its TV Deal". The New York Times (The New York Times Company).
- Eric Hansen. "Notre Dame football: ND-USC showdown a TV hit". South Bend Tribune (Schurz Communications). Retrieved November 29, 2012.
- Keith Arnold (April 9, 2013). "Notre Dame & NBC Sports renew partnership". nbcsports.com. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
- Brian Hamilton (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.com. Associated Press. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
- "NBC Bumps Up Irish Coverage, Will Do Live Pregame Show from Notre Dame Stadium". ShermanReport.com.
- "NOTRE DAME & NBC SPORTS GROUP RENEW HISTORIC FOOTBALL PARTNERSHIP". NBC Sports Group. April 18, 2013.
- "NBC Hires Kathryn Tappen as Notre Dame Sideline Reporter, NHL Host". Awful Announcing.
- "Great Games". Tripod.com.
- Video on YouTube
- "Jim Gray biography". HarryWalker.com.
NBC Sportscaster, Jim Gray joined NBC Sports in 1994 to serve as a reporter for the network's NFL pre-game show. His duties have expanded since that time to include reporting on telecasts of the NBA, Major League Baseball - including the World Series - Notre Dame football, selected golf events and the Olympic Games.