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College Football Playoff Payouts/Revenue Distribution for 2014-15

2014-15 CFP Revenue Distribution

UPDATE: Conference-by-conference payouts based on bowl placements that were announced 12/7/14: click here.

Initial estimates for College Football Playoff payouts are posted on the CFPs website. Here’s a breakdown:

Base Amount

  • Power Five (ACC, Big XII, Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12): each conference will receive approximately $50 million, which includes $300,000 for each school’s football team meeting the NCAA’s APR minimum for participation in a bowl game.
  • Group of Five (American, C-USA, MAC, Mountain West and Sun Belt): these five conferences will receive $75 million total, including $300,000 for each school’s football team meeting the NCAA’s APR minimum for participation in a bowl game). The conferences have decided among themselves how to divide this money, which is reportedly $60 million split evenly and the remaining $15 million divided based on how the conferences rank against one another based on team performance. (Note: Some other numbers in the linked article don’t match the CFP website.)
  • Notre Dame will receive $2.3 million, which is predicated on meeting the APR minimum.
  • Army, Navy and BYU will split a total of $922,658.

Additional Amounts for Participation

  • Each of the four teams selected for a semifinal game will earn $6 million for its conference. There is no additional payout for playing in the championship game (which was also the case under the BCS).
  • Each team selected to play in a “host” bowl will earn $4 million for its conference. In 2014-15, those bowls are the Cotton, Fiesta and Peach Bowls.
  • An expense payment of $2 million will be provided for each team for each game (semifinal, national championship, Cotton, Fiesta and Peach Bowl), paid to the conference.

Similar to the BCS arrangement, certain FCS conferences will receive $2.25 million to split. Only FCS  conferences that provide the full NCAA-allowable complement of scholarships are included in the payout: Big Sky, Big South, Colonial, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Ohio Valley, Southern, Southland, and SWAC.

Curious how this compares to the BCS?

Here’s how the BCS payouts broke down last year:

  • The base share for the six automatic-qualifying conferences (the Power Five plus the American) was $27.897 million each.
  • The other four conferences received a total of $13.168 million, which they split according to a formula they devised.
  • Each team selected to a BCS game as an at-large team received $6.3 million.
  • Notre Dame received $2.319 million.
  • The other independents each received $100,000.

By my math, the only conference who will see their revenue decrease will be the American as they move from the AQ/Power Five conference group to the Group of Five. Everyone else will see their fortunes significantly rise.

Contract Bowls

The figures above do not include revenue from the so-called “contract bowls.” The Big Ten and Pac-12 have a contract with the Rose Bowl for years in which the Rose Bowl is not hosting a semifinal which will provide $80 million for those two conferences to split annually. The SEC and Big XII have a similar contract with the Sugar Bowl for the same amount. However, since both the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl are semifinal sites this year, those conferences will not play in those games and receive that revenue this year.

The ACC has a contract with the Orange Bowl for $27.5 million annually, which it will receive this year in addition to revenue earned from the CFP as detailed above. Its opponent each year will be Notre Dame or a team from the SEC or Big Ten, and that team will receive a similar payout.

About Kristi Dosh

Kristi A. Dosh is the founder of BusinessofCollegeSports.com and has served as a sports business analyst and contributor for outlets such as Forbes, ESPN, SportsBusiness Journal, Bleacher Report, SB Nation and more. She is also the author of a book on the business of college football, Saturday Millionaires. Kristi is a sought-after consultant and speaker on topics related to the business of college sports and a former practicing attorney. Click to learn more
10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Pingback: Mississippi State, Georgia and Marshall Losses Cost Conferences Money |

  2. Ricky O Weber

    December 3, 2014 at 7:08 am

    If TCU, Baylor or K-State make the 4 team playoffs that means (my opinion only) that no way will the BIG XII CONFERENCE be adding 2 teams nor an end of the year conference championship game.

    • Thor Burk

      December 8, 2014 at 12:22 pm

      So what happens now? Are they going to add a conference championship game?

  3. Scott Evans

    December 8, 2014 at 8:51 am

    You forgot to include the Orange Bowl in your “host” bowl numbers

  4. Pingback: College Football Playoff: Conference Payouts |

  5. Nolen

    December 8, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    I don’t understand why the Peach Bowl would pay $4 million and the Orange Bowl would pay $27.5 million

  6. Pingback: The ACC Comes in 2nd in CFB Playoff Bowl Revenue | Louisville Sports Live - Your source for all University of Louisville sports talk all the time.

  7. CFP_Professor

    December 10, 2014 at 10:12 am

    @Nolen

    Its because the ‘six’ new year bowls are contracted to the CFP. Cotton, Peach, and Fiesta no-longer have conferences tie-ins. They payout 4 million (6 mil if the bowl is a semi-final site). The Orange, Rose, and Sugar have their own contracts with their affiliated conferences.

  8. Pingback: NCAA will allow travel stipends for families attending championships | GT Trends, We're Going Places

  9. Pingback: » NCAA will allow travel stipends for families attending championships

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