|Notre Dame Football on NBC|
|Also known as||Notre Dame Football on NBCSN|
Notre Dame Football on USA
|Genre||College football telecasts|
|Presented by||Mike Tirico|
|Theme music composer||John Colby|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||30|
|No. of episodes||200 (as of November 7, 2020)|
|Production location(s)||Notre Dame Stadium|
South Bend, Indiana, U.S. (Regular season)
Various NCAA stadiums
|Running time||210 minutes or until game ends (inc. adverts)|
|Production||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|
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 Sports has broadcast all Notre Dame home games since September 7, 1991.
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, at least two games per-season are played in primetime often played at neutral venues for the purposes of recruiting and financial benefits for playing at those sites, a high-profile matchup involving a major opponent, or to schedule around conflicts with other NBC Sports or NBC News programming. On occasion, selected games may be shifted to an NBCUniversal-owned cable channel, such as NBCSN or USA Network.
Notre Dame had previously had exclusive television deals with the DuMont Television Network in 1950 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. 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.
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. 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 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.
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.
On September 30, 2017, NBCSN broadcast its second live Notre Dame game, against Miami (OH).
Notre Dame's September 19, 2020, game against South Florida was shifted to USA Network due to conflicts with the 2020 U.S. Open on NBC. With NBC's usual production unit working the U.S. Open, the broadcast was produced using the university's in-house Notre Dame Studios unit (in combination with NBC talent, and staff working from NBC Sports' Stamford, Connecticut studios), marking the first time it had worked a regular season Fighting Irish football game.
Notre Dame's double-overtime win against Clemson on November 7, 2020, was NBC's most-watched Notre Dame game since 2005, despite game coverage moving temporarily to USA Network while NBC aired a speech by President-Elect Joe Biden.