SBD/February 12, 2014/Colleges

Nebraska Not Expected To Reap Full Benefits Of Move To Big Ten Until '17

NU's annual revenue from the Big Ten could swell to $40-50M a year starting in '17
The Univ. of Nebraska's move to the Big Ten "hasn't proven a B1G winner so far” when it comes to the athletic department's bottom line, but NU in three years should be "headed for a big financial score," according to Kent Sievers of the OMAHA WORLD-HERALD. NU will “finally be on equal financial footing with the core Big Ten schools" in '17, and the school's "annual revenue from the conference could well swell” to $40-50M a year. Such a figure “is astounding compared with four years ago,” when the school got $9M from the Big 12. NU in three years also “gains a full ownership share in the Big Ten's TV network," which is valued at more than $1.3B. NU agreed to “wait six years to gain a full share of Big Ten revenue” after joining the conference for the '11-12 season. It received $14M that first year, $15M last year and “will receive no more” than $16.9M this year -- each figure about $10M short of a full share. NU Regent Hal Daub said, “This deal is short on the tooth to start with, but as it builds, it's mighty, mighty positive for the University of Nebraska. We are earning our way into the full financial reward.'' Sievers reported the $16.9M figure for this current academic year is for conference and NCAA revenue, though the “vast majority of that figure, if not all, would come from the Big Ten.” Meanwhile, the Big Ten's TV contract with ABC and ESPN expires in '17, and given that the new contract the Big 12 signed two years ago “came in at double what the current Big Ten deal is worth, it's expected the Big Ten is headed for a big payday.” League projections suggest “a full Big Ten revenue share” in ‘16 will be worth $35M. Given that, an industry source said that the TV deal “will likely boost the annual share” in ‘17 to the $40-50M range (OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 2/10).
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