How much money waits for UCLA and USC in the Big Ten?

It’s about name, image and resemblance, it said. It’s about like-minded academic institutions. It’s about growing recruitment opportunities.

The real reason behind UCLA and USC’s drastic move to the Big Ten conference is much simpler than the language administrators use in lengthy statements.

it’s money

With the Pac-12’s recent struggles and archaic TV deal, the conference teams have simply been left behind, and the jump to the Big Ten gives USC and UCLA their best financial lifeline to compete in a collegiate sports scene that’s pushing the boundaries blurred between professionals and amateur every day more.

The Big Ten’s rise as a financial titan began when the conference signed a six-year, $2.65 billion TV deal that began in 2017. At the time, the Pac-12 was surpassing the Big Ten in revenue thanks to a groundbreaking TV deal led by former Commissioner Larry Scott.

This 12-year, $3 billion deal, signed in 2011, tripled the conference’s annual television revenue and created the Pac-12 networks. It was the richest media rights deal in college sports at the time.

But it hasn’t aged well.

Paralyzed by the long-term deal and the failure of the Pac-12 networks, the Pac-12 distributed just $33.6 million to each of its member institutions in 2019-20. The Big Ten bid its 14 members an average of $49.2 million that year, with the 12 longest-serving institutions getting an average of $54.3 million. Maryland and Rutgers, which were not full members at the time, took home $27.6 million and $11.4 million, respectively. The $20 million difference between USC and Ohio State continues into the following year.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major financial impact on all sports programs, but the Pac-12 has particularly suffered. The conference reported a 35.7% drop in revenue from fiscal 2019-20 to 2020-21 and distributed just $19.8 million to each school. The Big Ten fell 11.6% but still distributed $47.8 million to each school.

The Big Ten media rights deal in 2017 brought in an average of $441.7 million in TV revenue per year. That number could double in the upcoming contract of the conference.

Initial reports suggest the Big Ten’s new deal, which begins in 2024, could be worth a whopping $1 billion a year. That was before UCLA and USC merged and brought in the second largest media market in the country.

Dividing $1 billion in annual television revenue among 16 Big Ten schools results in an average of $62.5 million per school. That alone, before additional revenue streams like payouts for NCAA men’s basketball tournaments and bowl games, is nearly double what UCLA made from the Pac-12 two years ago.

The money can be used for facility upgrades, salaries for attracting and retaining top trainers, and improved travel opportunities. UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond said in a statement that the “resources” from the deal will help address the logistical nightmares that will surely follow West Coast teams who have to travel at least 1,500 miles to get to their closest Big Ten foe , Nebraska.

In its statement announcing the move, USC also noted that beginning this upcoming academic year, all athletes will receive up to $5,980 annually in “direct financial assistance in the form of academic achievement awards, pursuant to the Supreme Court’s recent Alston ruling.” could get.

USC will have the resources to significantly increase that number in two years’ time. How much money waits for UCLA and USC in the Big Ten?

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