SBD/August 10, 2011/Media

NBC Could Potentially Move Some Notre Dame Football Games To Versus Starting Next Year

Notre Dame football games will continue to air on NBC this season
There is a possibility that the Notre Dame football team "will not be playing all its home games on NBC in upcoming seasons after 2011," according to Scott Pierce of the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE. NBC Sports Group Chair Mark Lazarus said, "We're going to take a game or two and put it on Versus. ... What we really want to do is try to find stuff that can build up the cable channel. That's the key. That's where all the money is." Versus, which will be rebranded NBC Sports Channel in January, is available in about 76 million homes in August. That is comparable to ESPNU and 40 million home "fewer than the Fox broadcast network." The "thinking is that putting Notre Dame -- one of the biggest brands in college football -- on the Versus/NBC Sports Network will prompt people in those 40 million-plus homes to call their local cable systems and demand that it be added to the lineup." That would help NBC "close the gap with ESPN." Versus has had "limited success trying to challenge ESPN" since it was rebranded in '06 from Outdoor Life Network (SLTRIB.com, 8/9). An NBC spokesperson confirmed that all Notre Dame football games this season will air on NBC. The following chart offers a look at ratings for Notre Dame games on NBC since '02 (THE DAILY).

NOTRE DAME ON NBC
YEAR
GAMES
AVG. RATING
2010
8
2.1
2009
7
2.4
2008
6
2.2
2007
7
1.9
2006
7
3.0
2005
6
2.7
2004
6
2.5
2003
7
2.4
2002
6
3.2
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