If we all go out to dinner with Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott this weekend, he's buying.
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Scott is the highest paid college conference commissioner, earning more than $3 million last year.
The WSJ reported:
Scott took home a $1,376,000 bonus in addition to a base salary of $1,575,000 and other compensation of $71,462. His total compensation surpassed that of Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, who made $2.8 million in salary, bonuses and benefits that year. It also is nearly double the $1.6 million listed for commissioner Mike Slive of the Southeastern Conference, which has won the past seven major-college football national titles and recently announced it will launch a network with ESPN in 2014.
Why is Scott so well paid? Well, a lot of that is his "quadrupling [the Pac-12's] annual television-rights revenue." From the report:
In the span of 2011-12, Scott added the Universities of Colorado and Utah as members after initially exploring the possibility of a 16-team conference. He brokered a broadcast-rights deal with ESPN and Fox worth $3 billion over 12 years, elevating the Pac-12 from a distant fifth place nationally with $58 million in primary media-rights revenue to the leader, with the new deal worth an average of $250 million annually. He led the launch of the Pac-12 Networks, the only such venture to be wholly owned by a conference.
The Pac-12 generated only $176 million in revenue in 2011-12, well behind the Big Ten at $315 million and the SEC at $273 million, but those numbers were based on the old TV deals. This past year, the Pac-12 expects to pocket more than $300 million, though financial details won't be available until next year.
The Pac-12 Network is also expected to turn a small profit in its first year of operation.
It doesn't seem like too many Pac-12 administrators are unhappy with Scott (easy there, Arizona basketball fans). From the article:
"Larry is the go-to guy that pulled all this together," said Ed Ray, the Oregon State University president and head of the committee that approved Scott's compensation package. "I would say he had a hell of a year."
Now if Scott could just get DirectTV to join his fan club.