This week, the college conferences released their finances for the fiscal year ending June 15, 2015 and there are some interesting trends. Once again, the rich remain rich and member schools are receiving a healthy amount of compensation from league offices. Athletic departments receiving those nice financial windfalls can look to use that money as they see fit.
As expected, the Southeastern Conference remains on top having made $527.4 million in total revenue in 2015. The Big Ten trails with $448.8 in total revenue and that is up $10 million from FY’14. And the Pac-12 took in $439 million which puts the conference in third after the SEC and Big Ten. Even further behind was the Big 12 with just $267.8 million in total revenue for that same period.
The SEC was able to distribute $32.7 million to its member schools. The Big Ten paid $32.4 million to its 11-member base while new members Maryland received $24.1 million, Nebraska was paid $19.8 million, and Rutgers got close to $10.5 million in FY’15. In addition, the additions of East Coast schools Maryland and Rutgers added TV revenue for the Big Ten.
For the Pac-12, member schools received of $25.1 million while the Big 12’s schools received $23.3 million. We do not have numbers for the ACC.
So what does this mean? It seems that even of the Top Five college conferences, the SEC and the Big Ten rank 1-2. Their TV contracts along with their television networks have paid dividends for the conferences and their member schools. And with a new contract coming for the Big Ten, the amount of total revenue and compensation for member schools only stand to go up.
The Pac-12, Big 12 and ACC are in a second tier. Pac-12 Networks haven’t resonated across the country like the Big Ten Network and SEC Network. In addition, distribution problems among the major television providers for the Pac-12 Networks have lowered what could have been a big financial gain for the conference. And with the ACC looking to get a TV network launched, they’re going to take some time in order to catch up with the other leagues.
So the takeaways are that the rich in college sports are getting richer and it’s going to take a lot for the schools in their second tiers to get close to the SEC and the Big Ten.