The University of Notre Dame and NBC Sports announced today a new five-year agreement in which NBC will televise Irish home football games through 2010.p. The extension provides NBC rights to Notre Dame home games from 2006 through 2010. Notre Dame will provide a minimum of six home games per season to NBC as part of the agreement.p. The joint announcement was made by NBC Sports&Olympics chairman Dick Ebersol, NBC Sports president Ken Schanzer, Notre Dame president Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., and Notre Dame director of athletics Kevin White.p. “We are delighted to be continuing our landmark agreement with Notre Dame, which remains the most powerful brand in college sports,” Ebersol said. "We covet our association with Notre Dame because of its storied tradition, exceptional values and commitment to excellence, both on and off the field.p. "With Tyrone Willingham, the football program is in the right hands. He embodies Notre Dame’s core values, and his leadership, character and drive assure Notre Dame’s return to its traditional place among the elite national powers.p. “This new deal, as well as the previous deals dating back to 1990, are a tribute to the incredible relationship that Ken Schanzer has built with the entire Notre Dame community.”p. Father Malloy said that the partnership with NBC has been as valuable academically as athletically.p. “While our partnership with NBC has been important to Irish athletics, it is the general student body that has been the greatest beneficiary,” he said. “From the very beginning, the majority of revenue generated through the contract with NBC has been directed toward the financial aid needs of our students. Now, thanks to this innovative collaboration, the dream of a Notre Dame education has been made a reality for hundreds of Notre Dame students who have received millions of dollars in scholarship support.”p. White added: "We’re extremely pleased to augment what continues to be a very special relationship with NBC Sports. The ability to have our home football games telecast on a national basis becomes a tremendous vehicle for us in maintaining a national visibility and platform in terms of our football program’s profile and recruiting.p. “Since our games at Notre Dame Stadium are routinely sold out, this enables our fans and alumni all around the country to be able to watch our team play on Saturdays. In addition, the resources provided through the relationship have gone a long way toward supporting the mission of the University when it comes to financial aid.”p. Revenues from the NBC contract have played a key role in Notre Dame’s financial aid endowment since the start of the relationship in 1991. University officers decided to use a portion of the football television contract revenue for undergraduate scholarship endowment (not athletic scholarships). There are 111 undergraduates at the University in 2003-04 receiving need-based scholarships averaging $17,600 from the endowment funded by revenue from the NBC contract. Since the inception of this particular fund, 1,263 Notre Dame undergraduate students have received more than $12.6 million in aid.p. The University also committed $5.5 million from the NBC revenues to endow doctoral fellowships in its Graduate School. Earnings from the endowment currently support graduate teaching fellows, a minority fellowship program and summer research fellowships. Nearly $4 million from the contract have been used to endow MBA scholarships in the Mendoza College of Business. Since 1994, some 50 MBA students have been supported through the NBC endowment. During the 2002-03 academic year, 11 students were designated as NBC fellows.p. Overall, Notre Dame’s football television contract revenues have been a key in a larger University effort that has seen annual scholarship aid increase tenfold, from $5.4 million in 1991 to $53.7 million in 2003-04. Football television contract revenue and many other University gifts and investments have resulted in undergraduate scholarship endowment growing from $88 million in 1988 to more than $727 million as of September 2003.p. NBC has been televising Irish home games since 1991, and this marks the fourth of a series of five-year agreements with Notre Dame. The original agreement covered the 1991-95 seasons. The first five-year extension (announced in 1994) covered 1996-2000, and the second extension (announced in May ‘97) covered 2001-2005. By the conclusion of this latest extension, NBC will have televised Notre Dame home football games for 20 consecutive seasons. Each of the initial three pacts featured a combined 30 home games over each five-year span.p. Among the teams slated to play at Notre Dame Stadium during 2006-2010 include Michigan (three times), Purdue (three times), USC (twice), Michigan State (twice), Penn State and UCLA. NBC’s schedule of Notre Dame home games in 2004 features dates against Michigan (Sept. 11), Washington (Sept. 25), Purdue (Oct. 2), Stanford (Oct. 9), Boston College (Oct. 23) and Pittsburgh (Nov. 13).