* The following commentary appeared in the Hotline newsletter on Friday (sign-up here) and has been re-published here for readers who missed the original.
The updated Big Ten payout for FY17 is based on a published report on Iowa’s athletic finances …
The Big 12 became the second conference to report revenue-and-expense data for the 2017 fiscal year, following the SEC, and it did quite well for itself.
Reports of the conference’s demise are completely false, at least from the financial standpoint.
With FY17 figures now available for 40 percent of the Power Five, let’s take a quick look at the updated cash ledger.
The following distributions from each conference are on a per-school basis and do not include exceptions like Notre Dame (ACC for basketball, Independent for football) or Baylor (less than full share from Big 12because of penalties).
Additionally, the conferences report on different timelines, so you’ll note a mix of actual and projected figures.
(Projections are mine, by the way.)
Fiscal year 2017
Fiscal Year 2018
Big Ten: $50+ million (projected)
SEC: $43 million (projected)
Big 12: $36.5 million (projected)
Pac-12: $32 million (projected)
ACC: $28 million (projected)
* Payments for FY17 include a one-time distribution from the NCAA of approximately $850,000 per school.
* The Big Ten jump in FY18 projections is the result of its new Tier One TV deal.
* Big 12 figures do not include local media rights, which are owned by the schools (i.e., The Longhorn Network).
And recall that the figures cited above are per school, meaning the Pac-12 is $96 million behind the Big Ten in FY17 in total conference distributions (12 schools x $8 million per school).
For readers wondering if the Hotline is keeping score of conference payouts, here’s the answer:
Yes. Yes, we are.
The Pac-12 is owned by two private and 10 public institutions.
The centralized endeavors (Tier One media, NCAA units, Pac-12 Networks, football playoff, etc.) account for $450+ million in annual revenue, and that’s just from the conference office.
Add 12 athletic budgets, and it’s a $1+ billion annual operation.
Accountability is important, whether the issue is night football games, ticket sales to the men’s basketball tournament or the annual distributions from the conference office.
Unfortunately, the Pac-12 provides little transparency on key financial issues, not the least of which are conference and Pac-12 Networks expenses.
The Hotline attempts to fill that void and provide context whenever possible.
We’ll have another round of financial updates in May, when the Pac-12, Big Ten and ACC report their FY17 figures.
Why we need your support: Like so many other providers of local journalism across the country, the Hotline’s parent website, mercurynews.com, recently moved to a subscription model. A few Hotline stories will remain free each month (as will the newsletter), but for access to all content, you’ll need to subscribe. The good news for Hotline faithful: I’ve secured a discount: 12 cents per day for 12 months. Click here to subscribe. And thanks for your loyalty.
Get Pac-12 Conference news in your inbox with the Pac-12 Hotline newsletter
*** Send suggestions, comments and tips (confidentiality guaranteed) to email@example.com
*** Follow me on Twitter: @WilnerHotline
*** Pac-12 Hotline is not endorsed or sponsored by the Pac-12 Conference, and the views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the Conference.