06 November 2011
With the dust finally settled from the wide array of structural business ventures, NBC has started to add more sports programing to its network. It was announced on November 2nd that the NBC Sports Group (which now includes Versus) will add NCAA Dvision I hockey to the lineup starting in January. They will kick things off by adding a debut game on December 31st that will have Boston University take on Notre Dame at 7PM on Versus.
NBC has also paired up with the University of Notre Dame to strike a deal that will broadcast Notre Dame's home games starting for the 2013-2014 season. As many of you know, this will be the second exclusive deal that NBC Sports Network has with Notre Dame. They currently air Notre Dame football games despite the anger of those in various football circles.
Common sense tells us that the broadcasting NCAA games to a national audience will significantly help the sport in North America. With some experience and tinkering, NBC will hope to make hockey the third most watched collegiate sport in America. NCAA Football and Basketball currently command the #1 and #2 spots respectively. If things go well, I would assume that NBC would entertain the idea of broadcasting the entire Frozen Four tournament in years to come. A full schedule has already been released to the public for the Winter of 2012. All times are based on Eastern Standard Time.
NBC Sports Network Schedule:
January 6th - Dartmouth at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (7:30PM)
Jauary 13th - Minnesota Deluth at Nebraska Omaha (7:30PM)
January 20th - Michigan at Notre Dame (7:30PM)
January 27th - Yale at Harvard (7:30PM)
February 3rd - Cornell at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (7:30PM)
February 10th - Boston College at Vermont (7:30PM)
February 10th - Minnesota at Denver (10:00PM)
February 17th - Dartmouth at Yale (7:30PM)
February 24th - Boston University at Vermont (7:30PM)
February 24th - North Dakota at Denver (10:00PM)
March 2nd - Denver at Nebraska Omaha (7:30PM)
Additionally, NBC Sports Network will add the Hockey East Tournament. Full details of the tournament will be released closer to the event but the tentative schedule has the Quarterfinals on March 9th, the Semifinals on March 16th, and the Finals on March 17th.