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Big 12 payout climbs to record $252M; WVU’s partial share worth $23 million

The Big 12 paid out $252 million in revenue to its 10 member schools for the 2014-15 school year, Commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced Friday.

That’s a record, as every new year should be, with football and basketball television contracts providing annual escalators through the 2024-25 end date. Other revenue sources include bowl games and NCAA championships.

The average payout surpassed $25.6 million per school. West Virginia and TCU, which received 84-percent shares in Year 3 of their conference phase-ins, are scheduled to become full-fledged beneficiaries in 2016. WVU’s take this year was $23 million, while TCU netted an additional million based on its appearance in the Peach Bowl, a College Football Playoff access bowl.

“We’re very pleased with the revenue figures,” said Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis, who doubles as chair of the Big 12 board of directors. “There’s a lot of changes happening in college football that’s going to require more resources. Having these increases in revenues is going to help address those issues, including full cost of attendance.”

On the same day, the SEC announced its annual revenue ballooned to more than $455 million, with $436 million dispersed to members (more than $31 million per school). The SEC achieved that massive cash mountain despite substantial startup costs associated with its network launch last August and only nine months of revenue generation.

The Big Ten, which also profits from its own network, distributed $338 million for 2013-14 and has yet to release its latest revenue numbers.

“I think it’s proof positive that networks are good,” Bowlsby said. “Having said that, I don’t know that the linear network is the model of the future necessarily.”

Both the SEC and Big Ten figures include third-tier rights money, while the Big 12 schools handle their own. For instance, West Virginia was scheduled to receive about $6.6 million from its IMG deal this year (a jump of about $1.5 million from the final year the school managed its brand in-house).

The distributable conference income represents only a portion of each school’s athletics budget. For instance, West Virginia’s total revenue in 2013-14 was $77.6 million, of which about $14 million came from a 67-percent Big 12 share.

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