MrSec. Good stuff. Been hearing numbers fly all over the place, bashing and boasting about which school or conference is full of financial dolts or genius's respectively. Since money is a big deal, keep the stuff on financials coming. I know there are 27 to 3,500 different ways to interpret the data, so thanks for keeping it simple for us graduates of Southern Universities. 8 X 10 color glossies would be nice, but a Powerpoint presentation will do in a pinch.... just kidding..... good effort.
Over the weekend, CBSSports.com’s Jerry Hinnen wrote that the SEC expanded because it’s falling behind the Big Ten in terms of money thanks to Jim Delany’s league’s television network. Today, Matt Hayes of The Sporting News tweeted the most the recent average-per-school payouts from each conference:
— Matt Hayes(@Matt_HayesSN) June 4, 2012
Well, those points aren’t exactly 100% accurate.
Yes, the SEC expanded for the purposes of making more money. That’s why all the big leagues are expanding these days. And, yes, the SEC is heading down the road toward starting its own network. The Big Ten — once it partnered with Fox — showed everyone else what kind of cash can be earned by a regional network. Just as the SEC — with its 2008 contracts with ESPN and CBS — showed how much money can be made and how much national exposure a conference can be gain from partnering with the networks.
Where the breakdown comes is in the $23.6 million to $20.1 million comparisons. The Big Ten schools had to turn over their Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III broadcast rights to the Big Ten office in order to start their own TV channel (and cut their own league-wide deals with ABC/ESPN). So that $23.6 million per school is pretty close to accurate when it comes to the average revenue share for each Big Ten school.
But in the SEC, schools were allowed to keep their own Tier III media rights and have been able to sell those off on their own. So all the league’s schools make more than the $20.1 million average share reported. Florida and Alabama and LSU earn more than Ole Miss and Mississippi State and Vanderbilt, obviously, but they all eclipse the $20.1 mark.
That’s not to say that SEC schools aren’t neck-and-neck, a little behind, or even falling further behind the Big Ten cash-wise. Again, the league is looking at creating it’s own network with ESPN for a reason. The league added schools in highly-populated states for a reason.
It’s just not completely accurate to post “Big Ten $23.6, SEC $20.1″ on some make-believe scoreboard. These aren’t apples-to-apples comparisons.