The NBC Sports Group and the University of Notre Dame have renewed their football partnership through 2025, NBC Sports announced Thursday. The partnership stipulates the NBC Sports Group will retain global media rights on all platforms for at least seven Notre Dame home football games every year, with the games being shown on NBC and streamed online with NBC Sports Digital.
"While our relationship with NBC Sports is longstanding, the more recent merger between NBC and Comcast has opened up additional avenues to expand the breadth of Notre Dame-related sports programming on NBC platforms,” Notre Dame vice president and athletics director Jack Swarbrick said in a statement. “Specifically, the evolution of the NBC Sports Network has provided opportunities for special programming featuring inside looks at our football team and several other Notre Dame sports programs and in-depth profiles on the unsung heroes of Notre Dame athletics. These are examples of the growth of our partnership, and we look forward to collaborating on additional projects and distribution strategies in seasons to come.”
Ratings on NBC for Notre Dame games last year skyrocketed to its best level since 2005 and 2006, thanks to the team's undefeated run to the BCS Championship. NBC televised seven Notre Dame games last year and averaged 4.4 million viewers and a 2.8 household rating, up 69 percent and 67 percent, respectively, from 2011.
“Coming off one of Notre Dame’s best and most dramatic seasons in decades, we could not be more proud to extend this historic partnership, which continues to be one of the most innovative in sports-media history,” Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports Group, said in a statement. “We are particularly excited that this extension offers enhanced rights that allow us to bring Notre Dame Football to fans on more platforms than ever before.”
NBC will televise seven Notre Dame games in 2013: Temple (Aug. 31), Michigan State (Sept. 21), Oklahoma (Sept. 28), Arizona State (in Arlington, Texas; Oct. 5), USC (Oct. 19), Navy (Nov. 2) and BYU (Nov. 23). Additionally, NBC Sports Network will televise Notre Dame's Blue-Gold game on Saturday at noon CST.
Earlier this week, it was announced Dan Hicks will take over for Tom Hammond as NBC's play-by-play announcer for Notre Dame football. Hicks had filled in for Hammond, who called Notre Dame games on NBC from 1992-2012, on occasion over the past few seasons and will join analyst Mike Mayock and sideline reporter Alex Flanagan for Irish broadcasts beginning with Saturday's Blue-Gold game.