SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Notre Dame fans will see how the rest of the college football world lives this weekend as they scramble to find where they can watch the ninth-ranked Fighting Irish play at Air Force.
For the first time since 1992, a Notre Dame football game will not be shown by either NBC, ABC, CBS or ESPN — a streak of 169 straight games. The game will be shown on CBS Corp.’s CSTV, a college sports network normally seen in about 15 million homes.
CSTV is offering its programming to cable operators for free this weekend, but not all operators are accepting. Brian Bedol, president and chief executive for CSTV, estimates that the game will be available to about 30 million to 40 million homes through cable television, DirecTV or the Dish Network.
For people who live where the game is not available on cable, such as the South Bend area, they can watch the game on their computers on a pay-per-view basis. It costs $14.95 for people who sign up for the game before Saturday and $19.95 for people who sign up on Saturday.
John Heisler, Notre Dame’s senior associate athletic director, said he has heard from some upset Irish fans who believe the school has some say in where the game is shown.
“You get a few people who don’t understand how it works and they think we dictate it all,” he said. “Some fans just assume we’re the ones who make all these arrangements for every one of our games.”
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
The last time a Notre Dame game wasn’t broadcast by NBC, CBS, ABC or ESPN was Oct. 31, 1992, against Navy. The game was televised only in the South Bend area by WNDU-TV, the NBC affiliate in South Bend.
Lingering questions were answered emphatically by the 2012 team, but 2013 is an all-new season that brings all-new question marks. Brian Kelly feels fairly confident his offense is in a great position to take a step forward, but to do that, they’ll need the services of some under-the-radar players.
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