Notre Dame Aug 26, 2023; Dublin, IRL; Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver Deion Colzie (0) celebrates with quarterback Sam Hartman (10) after a touchdown against the Navy Midshipmen at Aviva Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Across a light slate of games in Week 0, NBC’s Notre Dame coverage led the way.

Notre Dame’s 42-3 blowout win over Navy in Ireland averaged 3.81 million viewers over all platforms, with 3.563 million of those coming on NBC proper. That’s also good for NBC’s most-watched Notre Dame game since the team’s loss to Cincinnati in October 2021.

Notre Dame’s upset win over No. 4 Clemson in November 2022, which you’d expect to be higher than this game with Navy, only averaged 3.22 million viewers. That game went head to head with Georgia’s win over Tennessee on CBS last year, which averaged a stunning 13.06 million viewers.

The other Week 0 games all lagged behind NBC, but that isn’t a surprise. Of the other nine games on the Week 0 schedule, four took place on networks that aren’t Nielsen-rated (CBS Sports Network, Pac-12 Network, SEC Network). All four games airing on Nielsen-rated networks averaged under a million viewers, with FCS matchups between North Alabama and Mercer (457,000 on ESPN) and South Carolina State and Jackson State (922,000 on ABC) bookending Ohio-San Diego State (466,000 on FS1) and UMass-New Mexico State (582,000 on ESPN).

Notre Dame vs Navy also started an hour before North Alabama-Mercer, the lone other afternoon game on the schedule.

The game was also the most-watched live sporting event on Saturday, edging out NBC’s coverage of the NASCAR Cup series race from Daytona in primetime (3.268 million viewers). Only one other sporting event from the week was able to surpass it – Fox’s broadcast of a Texans-Saints NFL Preseason game Sunday night (4.226 million viewers).

Despite all the qualifiers about the Week 0 schedule, NBC will take the win for its coverage of Notre Dame.

NBC will be right back at it in Week 1 when Notre Dame hosts Tennessee State at 3:30 p.m. ET.

[Sports Business Journal, Sports Media Watch]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.