Some reports still can’t figure out to properly summarize Conference Revenue numbers.


I’ve got a pet-peeve about something. Every year conference revenue numbers are released, and without fail they are reported incorrectly time and time again. This type of thing has been going on for years, and back in 2012 I tried to explain how revenue numbers and third-tier rights worked.  . If you are one of the sites or folks, I’m calling out for mis-understanding how these revenue numbers work – let me apologize in advance. It’s not personal, I’m just trying to clear things up.

Here’s one media outlet that got things correct. USA properly gives an apple to apples comparison of conference distributions for the fiscal year 2016. Remember for example the ACC only reports fiscal year numbers not anticipated revenues.

  • The SEC’s ranged from $41.9 million to $39.1 million.
  • The Big Ten gave about $34.8 million to each of its 11 longest-standing members, and smaller amounts to Nebraska, Maryland and Rutgers.
  • The Big 12’s ranged from $28.9 million to $28 million.
  • The Pac-12’s were about $28.7 million per school.

For the fiscal year 2016, the ACC did come in last at about $23.8 Million per school, while the ACC provided an additional $900,000 to schools in championship reimbursements.   I’m not why sure the conference just doesn’t include that in their distribution reports, but that’s what they do. Remember each school has third-tier rights deals for radio, licensing etc. The Big 12 gets also gets an additional bump for their third-tier TV rights.

From an ACC perspective, the conference knew they would lag this year, but with the ACC Network on the horizon the numbers should improve, but that discussion is for another time. We’re looking at mis-reported numbers now.

Here are some of the most glaring errors.

From LandGrantGauntlet… 

The distribution also stacks up very well when compared to the rest of the Power 5, with the Big 12 as the only conference at the same level as the SEC. Here’s how member distribution stacks up across the Power 5.

SEC: $40.4 million
Big Ten: $34.8
Big 12: $34.5 + 3rd Tier Rights
Pac-12: $24.7
ACC: $23.8

Just the wrong year reported for the Big 12 versus the other conferences, and everyone gets 3rd tier rights revenue in varying amounts.

Whoah, the Iowa State AD may want to check who pulled his numbers. He’s got the third-tier part ok – no one else has those TV rights, but the Big 12. The year comparison is wrong though.

Of course that tweet gets picked up by a news outlet.


The days of rumors and inaccurate information working the internet into a frenzy are over, but some of these numbers aren’t that difficult to get correct.

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