NBC Sports Network to televise college hockey in primetime

The NBC Sports Group announced Wednesday it will air 16 live college hockey games this season on NBC Sports Network this season.

The Saturday, Dec. 31 game between Boston University and Notre Dame will debut the network’s college hockey coverage at 6 p.m. (CST) on Versus. Two days later on Jan. 2, 2012, Versus will re-launch as NBC Sports Network, on which the remaining 15 will be televised. All 15 will shown in primetime on Friday nights.

The WCHA will make its debut on the network when Nebraska-Omaha hosts Minnesota-Duluth Jan. 13. Denver will host the back end of two doubleheaders against Minnesota (Feb. 10) and North Dakota (Feb. 24).

The Pioneers will play at UNO in the last televised regular season game of the season. The NBC Sports Network will also show ECAC, CCHA and Hockey East games, plus the Hockey East Tournament.

“We are excited to be launching our first-ever college hockey package by building a destination on Friday nights on the NBC Sports Network with many of the preeminent brands in the sport,” said Jon Miller, President of Programming for NBC Sports Group.

The NBC Sports Group also recently announced a multi-year deal with Notre Dame to have its home games televised on the NBC Sports Network starting in 2013, when the school joins Hockey East.