Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 2, 2015 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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where, beginning in 1991, all network coverage would have been restricted to ABC. ESPN also had a four-year, $110 million contract with the CFA for games on cable. Notre Dame was among the 64 CFA member institutions, and Rev. Beau- champ was on the committee. Meanwhile, the two main figures behind the coup were Rosenthal and Schanzer. Shortly after the Jan. 16 deal between ABC and the CFA, Rosenthal was in New York City to see Schanzer about other business matters. The Irish athletics director also noted his dissatis- faction with the new pact. That began discussions about Notre Dame breaking off on its own with NBC, and about two weeks later the stunning deal was consummated. At the time, Notre Dame was at its greatest peak in football popularity since the four consecutive unbeaten seasons achieved by head coach Frank Leahy's program from 1946-49. Only in his fourth season, head coach Lou Holtz led a school record 23-game winning streak the two previous sea- sons, winning the national title with a 12-0 mark in 1988 and following with a 12-1 ledger and No. 2 finish in 1989. Furthermore, one week after the an- nouncement of the deal with NBC, the Fighting Irish signed their fourth con- secutive No. 1-ranked recruiting class, and this one was considered the best of Dick Enberg, NBC's top play-by-play announcer, was the first to anchor the network's coverage of Notre Dame home games, and analyst Bill Walsh and sideline reporter John Dockery joined him. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME MEDIA RELATIONS

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