Last month, we told you that the Pac-12 became the richest of all of the college power conferences. Thanks to cash infusions from TV partners ESPN and Fox plus its in-house Pac-12 Networks, the conference pulled in $334 million for the fiscal year 2012-13 outdistancing the Big Ten Conference by $13.6 million.

But even with the windfall, the Pac-12 returned the lowest amount of revenue to its members, just 68%. On average, the other power college conferences, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC gave their member schools at least 90% of their revenues.

According to Dennis Dodd at, the Pac-12 distributed $228 million to its schools. The Pac-12 says the lower distribution is due to the operation of the Pac-12 Networks. While the Big Ten, SEC and Texas have their own networks, each have either ESPN or Fox running their operations. In the Pac-12’s case, its network is run in-house and is not operated by an outside partner.

So will the distribution improve for the Pac-12 member schools? It appears so, but Dodd citing a source writes that the revenue dispersal will always be lower than the other power conferences.

Pac-12 schools received an average of $18.5 million in fiscal 2013, but that figure was brought down by Utah which did not receive a full share and won’t until 2015.

So as the Pac-12 reaps the benefits of increased rights fees from ESPN and Fox plus revenues from its own TV arm, the conference also has to offset costs by keeping its distribution down. But with the increased payments from the previous fiscal year, schools won’t complain knowing that there will be more money coming down the road.


About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.