NBC Signs 5-Year Extension for Fighting Irish in HD

The University of Notre Dame, the only college football team in the nation to have all its home games televised nationally by a broadcast network, has extended its longstanding deal with NBC Sports with a new five-year agreement. NBC Sports, which began airing Notre Dame contests in NBC’s preferred 1080i format a few seasons ago, will cover Irish home games in South Bend, Ind., through 2015.

The original NBC-Irish deal began three years after Notre Dame won the National Championship in its undefeated 1988 season. It was also the last time they have won it; last year, the team experienced its worst record in history with only three wins.

The contract extension provides broadcast rights to NBC Universal for eight Notre Dame home games for five consecutive seasons, starting in 2011. (Right now they typically play six or seven home games per year). Nearly all Irish home games are played on Saturday afternoons.

At least a couple of Notre Dame games usually air in 720p, too, each season, since ABC Sports and ESPN HD often pick up a few Irish away-games for coverage.