STAMFORD, Conn. – NBC Sports Group, Grambling State University, and Southern University have reached an agreement to extend their three-decade partnership for three more years, keeping the annual Bayou Classic on NBCSN through 2021.
Since 1991, NBC Sports has served as the exclusive home of the Bayou Classic, an annual college football tradition featuring Grambling State University and Southern University that is played on Thanksgiving weekend at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. At the end of this new extension, NBC Sports will have televised 31 Bayou Classics.
The 2018 game will mark the 45th consecutive meeting between the Tigers and Jaguars, a rivalry that originated in 1974. The first-ever Bayou Classic, won 21-0 by Grambling, was played in New Orleans’ Tulane Stadium.
“The Bayou Classic is a college football staple, and one we’re proud to have broadcast for three decades at the end of this agreement,” said Gary Quinn, Vice President, Programming and Owned Properties, NBC Sports Group. “We look forward to showcasing this annual Thanksgiving tradition for the next three years to avid college football fans across the country on NBCSN.”
The Grambling Tigers lead the overall series, 23-21, and have won three consecutive games, including seven of the past 10 meetings overall. Over the course of 44 years, the Bayou Classic has featured some of the most prominent figures in college football history, including NFL Hall of Fame defensive back and Southern alum Aeneas Williams, Super Bowl-winning quarterback and Grambling alum Doug Williams and former Tigers head coach Eddie Robinson, whose 408 career wins rank third all-time in NCAA Division I history.
The annual telecast of the Bayou Classic is headlined by the renowned “Battle of the Bands” halftime show, which pits the marching bands of both Southern University and Grambling State against each other in a musical display of talent.
The game is also streamed live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.