- Brian Bennett, ESPN Staff Writer
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This just in: The Big Ten is rich. Like, filthy stinking rich.
Commissioner Jim Delany confirmed on a conference call with reporters Monday that the league would distribute a record $284 million to its 12 teams at the end of this fiscal year. That money comes from TV contracts and NCAA tournament revenue. The Big Ten released its current financial data for the first time; normally, reporters culled such figures from past tax forms.
The $284 million works out to about $23.7 million per team, but that's not quite accurate. Nebraska, which officially joined the Big Ten last year, is not receiving a full share from the league, and reportedly won't do so until 2017. Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman declined to reveal what percentage share the Cornhuskers are currently receiving when asked about it on Monday's call. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has reported that the 11 other Big Ten teams will get about $24.6 million each. If that's accurate, according to my shaky math skills, that would mean Nebraska would receive about $14 million.
By comparison, the league distributed $251.9 million to its then-11 teams in the 2010-2011 fiscal year, the most recent year for which tax forms are available. That worked out to about $22.9 million per school, on average.
The Big Ten Network is helping fuel the league's success. Network president Mark Silverman announced on the call that the network is now available in more than 50 million homes nationwide, with the majority of subscribers living outside the league's footprint. Silverman said advertising revenue increased by more than 20 percent last year. Remember when people thought the Big Ten Network was a foolhardy idea?
The SEC announced last week that it was distributing $241.5 million to its 12 teams, its highest total ever. That equaled an average $20.1 million to each school. So the SEC doesn't finish first in everything.
The Big Ten is rolling in money. And with a playoff coming that should be wildly lucrative for the power conferences, the rich figure to keep getting richer.