SBD/June 17, 2014/Colleges

Pac-12 Returns Only 68% Of Revenue To Members, Citing Network Costs For Disparity

Larry Scott said Pac-12 schools are focused on how much money they receive
The Pac-12 Conference distributed only 68% of its revenue to members in FY ‘13, by far the “smallest percentage among the Big Five conferences,” according to documents cited by Dennis Dodd of CBSSPORTS.com. Each of the other power conferences -- ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC -- “returned at least” 90% of revenues back to members. The Pac-12 last month announced it had a record $334M in revenue for FY ‘13 but a “closer look shows it distributed” only $228M to members -- a $106M disparity. The “next-highest disparity among Big Five conferences is the ACC" at $23.5M. Pac-12 CFO Ron McQuate said that the “nine-figure difference is due mostly to the league owning and operating its own network.” One Pac-12 source said that the “rate of return will improve but will always be substantially different than other leagues.” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said, "What our members are focused on, rightly, is how much money we give back to them, and are we growing the network?" (CBSSPORTS.com, 6/17).

NET SPENDING: CBSSPORTS.com’s Jeremy Fowler cited tax records showing FBS conferences spent $46.1M on "independent contractors” in FY ’12-13. Much of that went to the “construction and installation of the Pac-12 Networks” during the FY ending June 30, 2013. The Big Five and AAC “spent a combined” $4.3M on legal counsel in that span, “led by the Big Ten's $1,510,450 paid to Chicago-based Mayer Brown" (CBSSPORTS.com, 6/16).
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