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Volume 24 No. 179
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Big 12 Sees Record Revenue Of $198M, With $22M Shares For Most Member Schools

The Big 12 on Friday “announced distributions" of $198M to its 10 member schools for the ‘12-13 school year, according to David Ubben of Eight Big 12 schools will receive $22M, while TCU and West Virginia as newcomers “will receive half shares” of $11M. Those terms “were part of both schools joining the Big 12” in July ‘12. The $198M and $22M per school “are both conference records.” The conference revenue is “tallied from the Big 12's media rights deals with ESPN/ABC and Fox Sports as well as revenue from bowl games and the NCAA men's basketball tournament.” It “does not include revenue from universities' Tier 3 media rights, which can be used to earn revenue as each school sees fit.” Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said, "We'll get a pretty significant ramp-up from here on out. That moves up this next year due to a signing bonus from ESPN, and then after that, the new TV deal and the Champions Bowl kicks in." Ubben noted the Big 12 “just completed the first year of its 13-year grant of rights deal with ESPN/ABC and Fox Sports.” Bowlsby said that the conference's members “should be earning more than $40 million per year by the end of that contract” (, 5/31).

BACK FROM THE BRINK: In Ft. Worth, Jimmy Burch wrote Big 12 officials “oversaw a conference that teetered on the brink of collapse in the summers of 2010 and 2011,” but spent Friday “reveling in” the revenue distributions. The total was a $15M "increase from last year.” The $11M half share “represents a significant jump in revenues” for TCU and WVU. Bowlsby said, “I think our league is rock-solid and we have done everything we can, in the near term and in the long term, to keep this group of 10 schools together in perpetuity.” Burch noted the Univ. of Texas also will receive another $15M in revenues "this year from its Longhorn Network deal with ESPN,” money that is “not part of league-wide distributions.” UT President Bill Powers said, “We’re happy with our equal share. A rising tide helps everyone. I think there’s a real sense that realignment is behind us.” WVU AD Oliver Luck said, “The Big 12 money is certainly bigger than it was (in the Big East). Even half a share is much more than our previous conference.” UT men’s AD DeLoss Dodds said of Bowlsby, “He’s a calming effect on the conference. He is absolutely the answer to what we needed” (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 6/1). In San Antonio, Tim Griffin reported Dodds was "struck by the sense of unity and purpose that exists among conference members today compared to years past." Dodds: "In recent years, I've never seen it better. The room is good. Friendly. Good camaraderie. People are pulling for each other. It's good." Powers: "I think it's a testament to that June (2010) meeting in Kansas City, where it would have been easy for the ADs and presidents and the Big 12 to panic. We just sat down and went around the table and said who's in and out" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 6/1).

In Houston, Mike Finger profiles Dodds, noting how long the UT AD remains in his position is "yet to be determined." Dodds' $700,000 annual contract runs through '15, and he will receive a $1M annuity "if he is employed by the school at the end" of August '14. But "another poor year by his biggest teams -- including the basketball and baseball squads that missed their respective NCAA tournaments this season -- could put his future in peril." Powers, who "also faces an uncertain future," on Friday "reiterated his support for Dodds." Powers: "The programs are good. ... There will always be ups and downs, wins and losses. I'm looking forward to next season" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 6/3).