B1G revenues estimated to keep rising

May, 21, 2012
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The Big Ten's fiscal year doesn't end until June 30, but the league is headed toward another record revenue total.

According to figures provided to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch by Illinois' athletic department, 11 of the 12 Big Ten members will receive about $24.6 million in shared revenue from the past year. Nebraska, which officially joined the Big Ten on July 1, 2011, isn't receiving a full revenue share yet.

From the Post-Dispatch:
The projected payout is based on budget estimates and is expected to include $7.2 million from the Big Ten Network, a drop from last year's $7.9 million. However, contracts with ESPN/ABC and CBS will result in $10 million per school, which is a 22 percent increase over last year.

Official revenue totals from the 2011-12 fiscal year won't be available until next May, but ESPN.com obtained the league's tax documents from the previous fiscal year (2010-11).

Big Ten schools received between $22,879,703-$22,941,702 for the previous fiscal year (July 1, 2010-June 30, 2011). The league adopts equal revenue sharing, although there are typically slight differences in the individual payouts.

The league's overall revenue rose to $265,078,691 from $232,403,651 in 2009-10. The league paid $251,886,723 to its 11 member schools.

Some notable league expenses included the drug-testing program ($263,378), the kickoff luncheon/football media days ($378,025; the luncheon also generated $148,884 in revenue); and an internship program ($269,500).

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany earned $1,215,106 in 2010-11. League presidents and chancellors, classified as "directors" for the league, earned between $332,089-$1,168,685. The three highest-paid presidents: Ohio State's E. Gordon Gee, Northwestern's Morton Schapiro and former Penn State president Graham Spanier.

The bottom line is that the Big Ten's financial numbers are strong amid talk that college football's top four conferences -- SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 -- are distancing themselves from the pack.

It's about winning championships for the Big Ten, but it's also about positioning for the next TV negotiation. The Big Ten's current deal expires after the 2015 season.

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