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Volume 25 No. 236
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Scott Touts Pac-12's Revenue Growth During His Eight-Year Tenure

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott responded to a recent spate of critical headlines yesterday at the '18 Learfield Intercollegiate Athletic Forum by touting the conference’s revenue growth in the eight years he has been in charge. During that time, top-line revenue has grown from $100M to $500M and the per-school distribution jumped from $8M to $31M. Scott said that conference expenses are “absolutely comparable” to other Power 5 conferences. On the field, Pac-12 schools won 12 national championships, more than any other conference. The league has taken home more hardware than its peer conferences in 17 of the last 18 years. While the Pac-12 has had just two schools make the CFP in five seasons, it has dominated many of the Olympic sports. “Football is an important measuring stick, but our schools look at it with a much broader perspective,” Scott said. He also tried to provide some context as to why the Pac-12 faces such a revenue disparity compared to frontrunners Big Ten and SEC. “Our schools generate less from ticket sales, donations, sponsorships,” he said. “The markets are different, with different size stadia, different fanbases. Forever, the schools in the Pac-12, and Pac-10 before, have had to do more with less because the fanbases, the market sizes, the fervor, it’s just different. Our schools are used to being creative.”

THE MEDIA MODEL: On the media front, Scott remains bullish on the league’s model of owning all of its rights, including Pac-12 Networks. “At the moment, it really looks like the game is coming to us,” he said. “ESPN is doubling down on sports, Fox is doubling down on sports and news. NBC and others are serious. But it looks like there will be a whole new group of bidders for premium sports rights, like digital platforms and streaming services. Our old friend John Skipper is out there with DAZN making a big statement with boxing. Last time, we had three bidders for our rights. It wouldn’t surprise me to have double that number or triple that number when our rights come up (in '23-24). I just think we’re going to have more options to adapt to the marketplace than any other conference.”