Guest author: Tyler Jamieson (BusinessofCollegeSports.com Intern)
When it comes to cash the SEC is king…
…but just barely. NCAA disclosures (and EADA reports for private schools) from the 2010-2011 school year (the most recent available) reveal that the SEC is top dog when it comes to revenue. In 2011, schools from the SEC and Big Ten conferences both posted revenues of over $1 billion. The SEC earned top billing with earnings of $1,080,219,133, with the Big Ten right behind at $1,078,727,312.
The SEC also led the nation with a staggering 5 schools posting revenues of over $100 million. Leading the way was Alabama ($124,498,616), followed by Florida ($123,514,257), LSU ($107,259,352), Tennessee ($104,368,992), and Auburn ($103,982,441). The Big Ten was second with 3 schools over $100 million: Ohio State ($131,815,821), Michigan ($122,739,052), and Penn State ($116,118,025). The Big 12 had two schools over $100 million: Texas, with the highest overall net revenue in the country ($150,295,926), and Oklahoma ($104,338,844).
What’s even more impressive about the SEC’s revenue numbers is how far they have climbed since 2004-2005. Since 2004-2005 the conference as a whole has almost doubled their revenue, skyrocketing from approximately $600 million to over $1 billion. Over that time the average SEC school’s revenue has jumped from approximately $55 million to a little over $91 million, which is a robust 71% increase.
Once again amongst the notables is Alabama who doubled their revenue from $62 million to $124 million, no doubt due to recent success on the football field with the hiring of Nick Saban and 2 National Championships in the past 3 years. Also among the big movers was Mississippi State who back in 2004-2005 had a very paltry (by SEC standards) revenue of $26 million. In 2010-2011 the Bulldogs took the SEC crown for highest percentage climb in revenue since 2004-2005 with a 131% increase up to $59 million, but that still leaves them at less than half of Alabama and Florida are earning.
With a $3 billion television deal set to kick off in 2012, the PAC-12 is in position for some serious growth. In 2010-2011, the conference had the 2 lowest net revenue earners for all automatic-qualifier conferences. Utah, still transitioning from its move from the Mountain West Conference, had a revenue of $38 million, and Washington State came in at just under $40 million. Those numbers will no doubt see hugely significant increases in the coming years with each school in the conference estimated to receive over $20 million a year from the new TV deal.