B1G TV Revenue, Popsicles, and Trophies
Big 10 fans were scrambling around yesterday applauding the announcement that the conference would be distributing $25.7 this year. It is unclear why the St. Louis Dispatch was issuing the report. After all, the Big 10 did not want Missouri. But it is what it is.
However, before Big 10 fans start looking for a popsicle to suck, it should be noted that the TV revenue contribution to each school decreased. ESPN reported this regarding the Big 10 distributions:
The league’s fiscal year doesn’t end until June 30, but according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Stu Durando, conference payouts to member schools should reach another record high this year. Figures provided by Illinois show that Big Ten distributions are expected to be $25.7 million per school, including $7.6 million from the Big Ten Network.
Last year, schools got $24.6 million from the league, including $8.1 million from BTN. In 2011, the number was $22.6 million per school and $7.9 million from BTN. The Big Ten continues to distribute more revenue to its member schools than any other conference, which explains why Maryland was eager to dump decades of tradition in the ACC to jump on board.
People scoffed at the Big Ten Network when it first began, but Durando writes that the venture will have resulted in $42.5 million per full league member over the past six years. The figure has decreased this year for the first time, but that’s likely due to an increased slice of the pie given to Nebraska, which does not receive a full share of league revenue until 2017.
So there you go. Stu Durando calls it a “record” distribution, even though the to-school distribution is expected to be lower than either 2012 or 2011. Oh wait, there is an excuse. The lower distribution is because Nebraska is being given a larger slice of the pie. And Nebraska will not even get a full share until 2017! So apparently Nebraska’s mere increase in share caused a decrease in payouts per school.
Expect Rutgers and Maryland to have similar growing pains from a TV revenue standpoint. Unless the BTN plans to have Penn State-Rutgers and Penn State-Maryland on the BTN, they are kidding themselves if the expect people in those regions to flock to purchase the network. Nebraska fans are rabid. The East Coast is just not rabid about football–and that includes many of the regions where the ACC is present. Rutgers and Maryland fans are fine, but they are not football fans like in the SEC and Big XII. Or even most of B1G Country. Big difference. The Big 10 will probably get to profitability with the Rutgers and Maryland additions, but it may not be immediate.
In any event, there is no dispute that the Big 10 is the leader in revenue right now. Of course, all that money has not allowed the Big 10 to have anyone play for the football title since 2006 before the BTN even existed. At least the Big 10 had the runner-up in basketball. It has not had the champion since 2000. In the interim, the cash-poor Big East has had four champions, the ACC has had five champions, and the football-centric SEC (3) and Big XII (1) have had the other four champions. So there you have it. The Big 10… first in money. And that’s about it.