10:02am PT by Michael O'Connell
Notre Dame's Winning Streak Pushes NBC Coverage to 7-Year Ratings High
Everybody loves a winner.
Notre Dame, which is now the only undefeated team in the BCS this season, is driving home-game viewership to highs not seen in years on NBC. After Saturday's 38-0 victory over Wake Forest, the Fighting Irish solidified their most-watched season since 2005.
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NBC Sports' coverage of Notre Dame averaged 4.4 million viewers over the team's seven home games this season. That's nearly 2 million viewers north of last year's weak average of 2.6 million and the strongest showing the network has seen since 2005 (5.2 million).
Of the seven games, three averaged more than 5 million viewers. The most-watched game was the Sept. 22 primetime victory over Michigan (6.4 million viewers), which also was the most-watched NBC game of the year.
NBC has aired Notre Dame home games since 1991, and its 2012 coverage ended with Saturday's shutout of Wake Forest.
The Irish could go 12-0 with a spot in the BCS championship game if they defeat the USC on Saturday in Los Angeles. ABC will carry that game.
The 2012 BCS title contest will be televised by ESPN.