Power Five conferences combined for more than $3.3 billion in total revenue during the 2022 fiscal year, according to USA Today. The Big Ten led the pack at $845.6 million. The Big Ten’s reported revenue eclipsed the SEC by more than $40 million, the latter reporting in February that it generated $802 million in revenue for 2022.
The Big Ten distributed approximately $58.8 million to 11 of its 14 member institutions. Nebraska, Maryland and Rutgers all received millions less as it came from Big Ten Network earnings that predated the schools’ entrance to the league.
The SEC distributed approximately $49.9 million in revenue per member institution.
The ACC was third at $617 million in total revenue, followed by the Pac-12 at $580.9 million and then the Big 12 at $480.6 million. The Big 12, however, was third in revenue distributed per member institution at an estimated $42-49.9 million, followed by the ACC at $37.9-41.3 million. Notre Dame, a football independent, reported $17.4 million in revenue from the ACC.
The Pac-12 confirmed in a release Friday that it distributed approximately $37 million to each of its 12 members. USA Today reported the Pac-12 “anticipates” filing an amended return for 2022, stemming from overpayments that totaled more than $50 million from Comcast to the Pac-12 Networks.
Power Five conference revenue for 2022 fiscal year
|Revenue||Approximate payout per school|
|Big Ten||$845.6 million||$58.8 million – x|
|SEC||$802 million||$49.9 million|
|ACC||$617 million||$37.9 to $41.3 million|
|Pac-12||$580.9 million||$37 million|
|Big 12||$480.6 million||$42 to $44.9 million|
x — Nebraska, Maryland and Rutgers received less due to Big Ten Network earnings that predated the schools’ entrance to the league.
— Source: USA Today
The gap between two top earners (Big Ten and SEC) and the remainder of the Power Five is expected to grow with lucrative new media deals on the horizon. In 2020 the SEC inked an exclusive 10-year media rights deal with ESPN that runs from 2024-34 at an estimated value of $3 billion. The Big Ten followed suit in 2022, agreeing to a seven-year deal with NBC, CBS and Fox Sports that spans from 2023-30 and is worth more than $7 billion, believed to be the most lucrative in college sports history.
Adding to the overall value of both the Big Ten and SEC are the coming additions of two new members apiece. USC and UCLA leave the Pac-12 for the Big Ten in Summer 2024, a year after the Big Ten’s new media rights deal goes into effect. That same year, Oklahoma and Texas will leave the Big 12 for the SEC, coinciding with the SEC’s new deal with ESPN.
Of the three remaining Power Five conferences, the Big 12 secured a six-year, $2.3 billion extension of its current media rights deal with Fox Sports and ESPN, which now runs through 2031. The conference invited Houston, UCF, BYU and Cincinnati to join the league in the wake of Oklahoma and Texas announcing their intentions to leave the conference. Those four new members join the Big 12 in the 2023-24 school year.
The ACC is less than halfway through an exclusive 20-year media rights deal signed with ESPN back in 2016. There is reported tension among administrators at several ACC institutions regarding the league’s current TV deal. Florida State athletic director Michael Alford caught the attention of college football circles in late February when he called for changes to the ACC’s equal revenue sharing. He expressed concerns that FSU would not be able to compete nationally if the conference-to-conference revenue gap stays on its current trajectory.
Alford’s counterparts at Clemson, Miami and North Carolina have since echoed those feelings. Just earlier this week, as the ACC conducted spring meetings, multiple outlets reported that seven ACC members met with legal teams in recent months to examine the conference’s grant of rights amid questions about the feasibility of an early exit.
The Pac-12 is the only conference with media rights still up for grabs this decade. The league’s current deal with Fox and ESPN expires after the 2023-24 season. Though the Pac-12 set conference records with the latest reported revenue and distribution figures, it faces questions as it prepares to lose the Los Angeles media market without a long-term media rights deal in place. Expansion could be on the horizon for the Pac-12 in an effort to bolster its inventory, with SMU and San Diego State heavily linked to that conversation.