SBD/August 5, 2013/Media

Big Ten Network Bringing In Millions Extra For Conference; ACC Net Possible By '16?

The Big Ten is expected to "distribute about $26.4 million per school after 2013-14 -- and more than $35 million at the end of the 2016-17 academic year," according to Mike Carmin of the Lafayette JOURNAL & COURIER. Those payouts, which include a projected $30.1M in '14-15 and $33.3M in '15-16, will be "sent to the core 11 Big Ten schools -- minus Nebraska, Rutgers and Maryland." Nebraska, which started competition in '11-12, "isn’t receiving a full share." Maryland and Rutgers also "won’t receive a full slice when they officially become members on July 1." The current $25.4M per school "leads the nation, ranking ahead" of the Big 12 ($22M for eight schools), and the SEC ($20.7M for 14 schools) (Lafayette JOURNAL & COURIER, 8/4). Carmin noted Purdue has received more than $39M from the Big Ten Network in the last six years. Television currently "accounts for nearly 74 percent of the revenue." However, during the '16-17 school year it will "account for 65 percent as revenue from the upcoming College Football Playoff and the league’s new bowl agreements increases." The Big Ten’s deal with ABC/ESPN "comprises about 50 percent of the league’s television revenue, with BTN generating" about 35%. IRS documents showed in '06-07, the year before the BTN launched, each conference school "received roughly $14 million from the Big Ten." During the BTN’s first year, revenues "increased to $18 million for each school" and have been "climbing ever since" (Lafayette JOURNAL & COURIER, 8/4).

DOWN TOBACCO ROAD: North Carolina AD Bubba Cunningham said the formation of an ACC Network by '16 or '17 "is a logical time period." In Raleigh, Andrew Carter noted the ACC's borders as a 15-team league will "include more top-30 TV markets and more TV households than any conference." The population in the ACC’s footprint will be "greater than any conference." ACC Commissioner John Swofford said that by '30, 55% of the country’s population "will lie within the ACC footprint." Cunningham added, "We're going to be able to deliver ACC product within three to four years" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 8/4).

PROCEED WITH CAUTION: CBS' Gary Danielson is the lead analyst for the net's SEC football coverage, and he said there is "some danger" in the proliferation of conference-specific networks. He said, "These networks, instead of buying the rights, are now partnering with the conference, and not just the SEC. They are sharing in profits. We are entering uncharted waters and all of us have to work harder to make sure we are telling the story as straight as possible" (SI.com, 8/4).
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