As college football nears its first season in the era of the College Football Playoff, the Pac-12 Conference released their tax statements Friday showing the information Larry Scott was hoping for; the Pac-12 is chief among NCAA revenue winners. Or at least it was during the 2012/2013 fiscal year.
This statement was the first full year for the conference reflecting the newly minted and fully owned (by the conference itself) Pac-12 Networks, a new TV-rights deal with ESPN and FOX, and the full operations of Pac-12 Enterprises, which is in charge of media and marketing for the conference.
The reported amount of revenue for the conference is an incredible $334 million! This is more than everybody. The closest conferences in revenue gain for that fiscal year are the Big Ten ($318.4 million) and the SEC ($314.5 million). Oddly enough, the Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences keep their fiscal finances tied to the end of June, while the SEC reports theirs for the end of August.
As far as I can tell, there’s not much of a difference there, just an interesting note. But an even more interesting number to look at is the increase from the previous year for the Pac-12. The conference hauled in a tremendous $158 million more in 2012/13, than in 2011/12, which means adding that exposure with all those deals nearly doubled the revenue from about $174 million the year before.
As the conference has only increased in popularity over the last year and a half, one would presume that next year’s findings should increase once again. Another thing that’s huge for that increase is the fact that the conference sent nine teams to bowls in 2013 while they only sent seven in 2012. In 2014 the conference is adding a centralized Pac-12 Championship game, along with moving the Kraft Hunger bowl to San Francisco’s new NFL home, Levi’s Stadium.
The SEC should make a jump this upcoming season with the introduction of the SEC Network. However because they already have the ESPN and CBS deals in place, along with having had many of the things that are still new to the Pac-12 for some time now, their bump will likely not come close to the jump that the Pac-12 received from one year to the next. It’ll be interesting to see if it will be enough to once again overtake the Pac-12 in revenue earnings going forward.