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.


Leave a Reply