SBD/June 8, 2016/Media

Conference USA Sees Major Decline In TV Revenue Under New Four-Network Deal

Conference USA will receive about $2.8M "in TV revenue" in '16-17 from its four broadcast networks, which amounts to "about $200,000 for each school," according to Harry Minium of the Norfolk VIRGINIAN-PILOT. It represents a "steep decline" from the $15.4M, or about $1.1M per school, to be distributed this year. Documents show that Fox and CBS have "been paying" C-USA $9.95M for TV rights. The conference was "supplementing that" with $6.15M from "exit payments made by seven schools, including Memphis and East Carolina, that left the league in recent years." The exit payments were "made in part to compensate C-USA for reduced payments from the networks that occurred after the league lost several attractive schools, such as Memphis's basketball program." C-USA schools will split about $20.5M in revenue from the league, "including NCAA basketball tournament money." That is down from the projected $34.4M to be distributed this year. The distribution is "projected to further decline" to $19.4M by '19-20. C-USA "now appears fourth in the so called Group of 5 mid-major leagues when it comes to TV money." The Sun Belt is "last at about $100,000" (Norfolk VIRGINIAN-PILOT, 6/8).

SWEET HOME ALABAMA: In Birmingham, Drew Champlin reports C-USA's men's and women's basketball tournaments "will be in Birmingham" for the "third straight year." The men will play at Legacy Arena at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex and the "first two rounds of women's basketball action will be at Bartow Arena." Next year's tournaments will be held from March 8-11 (BIRMINGHAM NEWS, 6/8).
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