League commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced on Friday that the Big 12 paid out $34.8 million to its members. Although, roughly $6 million of Baylor’s payout was withheld until the school shows that they have made the necessary Title IX changes outlined by the conference in the wake of the sexual assault scandal. That money is being held in an escrow account in the meantime.
It is the 11-straight year the conference has reported increased revenue to its members. The payout is roughly a 15 percent increase from last year. That’s incredible. To put that into perspective, when was the last time you got a 15 percent raise at work? Probably never, right?
Despite the rumored demise of the conference, the Big 12 keeps churning out big paydays. And remember, those numbers do not include third tier media rights. Unlike any other conference in the Power 5, each Big 12 member retains their own tier three rights, so that money is not part of what the conference pays out.
The distribution also stacks up very well when compared to the rest of the Power 5, with the Big 12 as the only conference at the same level as the SEC. Here’s how member distribution stacks up across the Power 5.
SEC: $40.4 million
Big Ten: $34.8
Big 12: $34.5 + 3rd Tier Rights
In straight payout, the Big 12 came in just shy of the Big Ten. However, as explained above, the Big Ten’s distribution includes money for each member’s third tier media rights. When you account for the Big 12 member’s third tier media rights, then it is not even close.
For Texas, add another $15 million. For Oklahoma, add another $8-$9 million. For schools like Kansas, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, TCU and Baylor, add another $6-$8 million. Which means, the majority of the conference is making at or above what SEC members are receiving, and Texas, pulling in somewhere around $50 million, is making near double what the Pac-12 and ACC conferences are paying out!
Now, Texas’ big payout is of course due to the Longhorn Network. LHN has been the bane of the Big 12’s existence over the last few years as it prevented a deal from being done for a conference-wide network, but it just may turn out to be the best thing to ever happen to the Big 12.
Look at the Pac-12, a conference network is far from a guaranteed payday. And, as that financial model continues to fall apart, the Big 12 is the only P5 conference positioned to take advantage of things like streaming deals.
Don’t expect the Big 12’s record revenue to slow down any time soon either, as money from the return of the conference championship game will start funneling in next year.