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Universities Reap Big Rewards From Sports Revenues

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NCAABig money is starting to roll into the coffers of the major universities that had the good sense to promote a good football team and make a contract with a major network to televise the games.  That’s the ticket to wealth these days for the big schools.

A record $25,700,000 will go to member schools of the Big Ten Conference as a result of revenues collected for this past NCAA football season. Twenty-five million bucks! That’s going to make the founding fathers and alumni associations very, very happy. The Big Ten is currently the national leader in terms of earnings from sports broadcasting revenues.

These funds are coming directly from sports. Make no mistake about it. Bill Gates is not sending out funding to the universities and appearances on PBS documentaries don’t pay all that well.

The University of Illinois took in $24 million which included $6.6 million from the Big Ten Network which broadcasts various sporting events from the conference. There was also an additional $1.5 million income from the Fox Network.

Big Ten schools have enjoyed dominance in broadcasting revenues in the past but the recently announced formation of a deal between the SEC and ESPN will almost certainly transform the boys down south to the highest earners from sports revenues in the next couple of years. Current projections have the member SEC schools collecting in excess of $30,000,000 in the first years alone.


Athletic departments in all conferences are expected to receive considerable upgrades thanks to the increased broadcasting revenues. New, state-of-the-art facilities are being planned for sports programs around the country as the considerable gains from sports broadcasting are collected by the various schools.


The Big 12 Conference also came out smelling like a rose last year with conservative estimates ranging as high as $22-$25 million going to each member university as a result of broadcasting revenues. Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said that Forbes.com has made projections in the area of $26.2 million going to each school.


The only Big 12 BCS bowl recipient last year was Kansas State which brought in around $900,000 by selling its allotment of 17,500 Fiesta Bowl tickets.  The NCAA gave them 25% of the allotted tickets and the university got to keep the entire 100% of the proceeds.


The Big 12 also has deals with both Fox and ESPN that will be bringing in about $200 million per year for the next 13 years.

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