Blog Entry

SEC paying out record $19.5 million to members

Posted on: February 17, 2012 1:40 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2012 2:23 pm
 

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The SEC is richer than it's ever been--but is it rich enough?

The Birmingham News reported Friday that according to the league's tax documents, the SEC distributed a conference record $19.5 million to each of its member schools for the 2010-2011 season, an increase of $1.2 million on both its 2009-2010 payout and its initial 2011 estimates. Thanks to the new(ish) CBS Sports/ESPN television contracts fueling the increase, those revenues also represent a whopping $6.5 million per-school bump -- a 50 percent increase -- over the league's distribution numbers just two seasons before. 

That's the great news for the SEC. The less-great news is that those figures still leave them a bit behind the Joneses Mike Slive is looking to keep up with in the Big Ten and Pac-12; the Sports Business Journal recently estimated those conferences' per-member distributions* at "close to $21 million," with the growth from their respective networks expected to push those numbers even higher in the coming years. The SEC, meanwhile, is locked into its current contracts until 2023, with TV revenue only increasing 3 percent in the second year of the league's new deals. 

That those revenues will be divided 14 ways rather than 12 following the additions of Texas A&M and Missouri would be another headache for Slive if those additions didn't also open up the possibility for a renegotiation of those television contracts. The ACC's ongoing expansion-triggered renegotiation is expected to net the league an additional $1 to $2 million per team per year--hardly chump change, but likely not the sort of numbers that would keep the SEC even with the Big Ten and Pac-12 come 2017 or '18, much less the tail end of its current contract (which could also be extended as part of the renegotiation).

Make no mistake: the SEC is currently swimming in money, will continue to swim in money, and has the kind of advantages that have nothing to do with money -- overwhelming fan interest, proximity to recruiting hotbeds, a firmly cemented reputation as college football's gold standard -- that will keep it at or near the top of the college football heap. Slive is hardly in crisis management mode. But "or near" may not be good enough for the SEC after its recent run, and a potential $4 or $5 million gap per-school between the league and its Midwestern/West Coast "rivals" -- sustained over a period of years -- could (or would?) eventually even (or even tilt) the playing field. 

Times are no doubt very, very good for the SEC both on the field and in its checkbook. But the upcoming negotiations between the league and its TV partners will likely play a huge role in whether future times are as very good or not.

*The SBJ also estimated the SEC's distribution figure at only $17 million, which could be either a good sign or a bad one from an SEC perspective; if that figure was simply wrong while the Big Ten's and Pac-12's was accurate, then the gap isn't as wide as believed. But if the SBJ was simply being conservative across the board and the B1G's/P12's numbers are also underestimated, it would mean those leagues' networks and TV deals have established a substantial financial edge even before they really get rolling.    

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the opening kick of the year all the way through the offseason, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview.

Get CBSSports.com College Football updates on Facebook   

Comments

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: February 18, 2012 10:27 am
 

SEC paying out record $19.5 million to members

TV revenue would likely go in order of market size, so: Pac-12, Big Ten, ACC and SEC. (This is assuming that Texas goes west and the Big East falls). Currently, Things shape up as Pac-12, Big Ten, SEC, Big-12, ACC and Big East.

And you caqn not be more wrong.  It matters not as to how large the TV markets are.  It matters how many people tune into the games in those markets.  Rutgers is in the NY TV market.  SO?  When they are on a fraction of viewers watch compared to other events or shows.  You can have all the large TV markets, but if nobdy watches, what's the point.

You are sadly mistaken if you think large markets will dictate the revenue stream.  Nothing could be further from the truth.



Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: February 18, 2012 10:20 am
 

SEC paying out record $19.5 million to members

  Are there comparable TV markets in the SEC?  For the SEC, there is Atlanta and uh, uh, hmm, well there is no SEC school in Atlanta unless Athens is a suburb, and there is, let's see, Nashville.  Yeah, Nashville.  But the only school there is Vanderbilt and there are too many other overlapping media contracts in central Tennessee.  While the SEC may brag about its championships, money makes the world go around.  Money talks and BS walks.


You truly are uninformed and misguided to post such nonsense.  As a fellow poster pointed out, the size of the market is but one component of the equation.  The intensity level of the markets is a far better barometer of the how certain markets fare in the tv ratings race.  A news outlet, the wsj or the ny times or another, I forget, did a study of the net effect on college football tv ratings.  One of the interesting points shown was that the size of the market did not dictate the outcome when it came to ratings.  For instance, as pointed out, the NY City market is one of the largest in the country, but that does not translate to overwhelming TV ratings when Rutgers is on TV.  Rutgers fans are miniscule and hardly register in that market.

Contrast that with Birmingham, ALA.  Far smaller than most major TV markets, the intensite level shown by viewers when ALA is on leads to far greater TV ratings than most major TV markets and more viewers than like products in far greater TV markets showing games of local interest.  It is the proverbial field of dreams.  If you show it, we will watch.  Not so when Rutgers is on.  Who cares how big the TV market is.  That does not translate into viewers.

You are absolutely correct when you point out money talks.  The BIG and PAC signed huge contracts and that is good for college football.  The proof will be in the pudding going forward.  How does that translate going forward?  It is one thing for the BIG's network deal initially, in part, to be based in large part on cable subscribers, but what is going to happen when that does not translate into ratings?  It is one thing to have a gazillion subscribers in the South and Texas, and parts outside the BIG footprint, but when it doesnt translate into viewership, what will happen?

The SEC can only benefit by these deals.  It has a proven product that translates into viewership.  When the dust settles and the numbers are looked at objectively, the SEC will be able to keep up with the Joneses.  The networks want results and as long as the SEC has a product people want to watch, the money will follow.

You are correct when you state VANDY is the only school (SEC, I assume), but what you dont state is that market is dominated by UT, which has far more fans there than VANDY EVER will.    Again, it is the intensity of the fan base, that impacts ratings and VIEWERSHIP.  That is a far better determiner of the success of the product, than TV markets alone. 



Since: Aug 9, 2011
Posted on: February 18, 2012 10:13 am
 

SEC paying out record $19.5 million to members

The SEC's largest markets are Nashvile, New Orleans, St Louis and Little Rock. Atlanta, Memphis, Miami, Louisville, Kansas City and Houston are all either shared or dominated by another program.
How exactly does the SEC have the St. Louis market?  Has anyone ever looked at a map?  Columbia is nowhere near St. Louis--about like Columbus, Ohio is to Cincinatti.  Sure there are Mizzou fans there, like there are Buckeye fans in Cincy, but I would hardly say that they own the market.  I had a buddy who grew up in East St. Louis and they were Illinois fans, not Mizzou fans.

  




Since: Dec 5, 2007
Posted on: February 18, 2012 9:15 am
 

SEC paying out record $19.5 million to members

" I would have much less problem with the BSC if EVERY team, from Western Kentucky to Alabama received the same payout."

I agree with what you're saying but you don't have to use Western Kentucky as your bottom rung on the football ladder. WKU went 6-5 last season and were bowl eligible and should have recieved a bowl invite over some teams with even or losing records, and they even scored a TD on the mighty LSU. But that's just another way the BCS has it's head up it's Gee hole. Duke would have been a better example, they went 3-9 in the mighty ACC and their basketball program ain't gonna bring in any extra dough to save them this year so any donations to help out that program would be needed and I'm sure greatly appreciated. Just sayin'. Cool



Since: Feb 24, 2010
Posted on: February 18, 2012 8:58 am
 

SEC paying out record $19.5 million to members

The problem with the TV argument is that instead of producing armchair quarterbacks, it produces armchair TV executives.  Of course, L.A., is a huge television market.  In fact, it's #2 in the U.S.  Nobody doubts that USC viewership drives the bus in the PAC 12...hell USC veiwership is the PAC 12 bus.  But Phoenix, Denver and Seattle?  Atlanta is bigger than any of those markets.  Hell, Tampa (SEC market) is a bigger market than Denver or Seattle.  I love Seattle.  I lived there for years and consider it one of my favorite places on earth...but it's not a big market.  And Denver?  Come on.  You are talking about SEC markets being split.  Then by the same logic you espouse, Denver is split between Colorado and Colorado St.  San Fran is a huge draw, but the SEC added Texas A&M to get its "footprint" into Dallas and Houston.  Dallas is a bigger market than San Fran. This argument has no resolution.  The SEC, PAC 12 and Big Ten will all be fine.  The Big 12 will adjust to escape the gulliotine. The Big East may merge with someone else.  It may dissolve.  Who knows?  But the Big East has the biggest market in the U.S., New York.  I don't see the New York market driving the bus to salvation and sustianability for the Big East just because it's the #1 TV market.



Since: Oct 5, 2006
Posted on: February 18, 2012 8:03 am
 

SEC paying out record $19.5 million to members




@UWVDad... you must really hate the NFL then with its profit-sharing. Of course, you must also really hate the billions of annual government subsidies that are given to huge multi-international corporations that already rake in billions of profits. I won't even bother to get into the amounts of money we "throw away" on social security, medicare/medicaid, etc. especially since most collect 100's% more than they paid in.  

Oh wait, No. We just hate welfare recipients that collect $400 per month or that Duke football is getting money "they didn't earn" (but that they make back tenfold for the conference via basketball).

While we're at it... Since your child (based on your username) goes to a large state school, you must think its absolutely and downright illegal for all of those out-of-state kids to pay more for their tuition than your child - simply to recieve the same education - regardless of your annual earnings (assuming you live in-state).

My only point, really, is that its a two-way street. And common sense not to mention morality says we get more from assisting the frail than promoting only the sturdy - i.e. a chain (and society) is only as strong as its weakest link.





The NFL shares the profit with ALL teams in the league, NOT with a select few.  In your haste to spew forth your political comentary, you missed the point.   I would have much less problem with the BSC if EVERY team, from Western Kentucky to Alabama received the same payout.   My point was that there are 11 leagues (today) playing 1A football, and the members of six of those are making huge sums of money, while the members of the other five are barely scraping by. If you want to use your non aplicable examples, you should say that the SEC teams should be taxed and that money given to MAC or Subbelt teams.



Since: Sep 2, 2011
Posted on: February 18, 2012 5:13 am
 

SEC paying out record $19.5 million to members

The SEC should be able to renegotiate and do quite well when it does. Adding the St. Louis TV market thanks to Missouri and making an entry into Texas will help as well. But the Big East grabbing Houston could complicate things depending upon how TV deals shake out. If A&M takes precedent in the Houston market, then Mike Slive has done very well in this latest round of expansion. He will never be able to keep up with the Big Ten and Pac 12 because of their TV markets and reach. However he has a rabid fan base and successful product to lean on. The SEC will always be near the top with regards to annual payouts.

Rutgers and Notre Dame remain X factors because should both wind up in the same conference, that value of that conference's TV deal will go through the roof. Notre Dame remains a national brand and Rutgers provides entry into the biggest TV market of them all, New York City. People can scream about ratings and a lack program success, but in the end it comes down to how many cable/TV boxes you can reach. The more the better even if you're not going into a "college hotbed."

The Pac 12 remains primed to become the richest conference in the game. Not now but in about 5 years those schools will be have more money than anyone could imagine. Projections go as high as 40 million dollars annually thanks to the upcoming launch this August of the Pac 12 Network. This means facility upgrades and what not, but they still have to deliver on the field of play. Wrong coach, bad recruiting classes and it doesn't matter. But should this conference ever convince Texas to join on the Pac 12's terms, it will game over for everyone. Adding the school the brought in the most money last year with regards to college athletics coupled with lucrative TV markets and the Pac 12 will be filthy rich. It's partnership with the Big Ten can only help.

This is all about money and nothing to do with how many conference titles you've won, how many times you've dominated your hated rivalry, how you've ruled the roost in baseball for 25 years or your tradition in basketball. If your school is in a nice sized TV market that another conference doesn't have, you're the hot chick in the bar that everyone is checking it out. This is why schools like Maryland and Rutgers are more attractive than say Clemson and Florida State.



Since: Dec 16, 2006
Posted on: February 18, 2012 3:00 am
 

SEC paying out record $19.5 million to members

The Pac-12 is going to rule the TV revenue from here on out. The SEC cannot compete with markets like LA, San Fransisco, Phoenix, Seattle and Denver. Hell, the SEC's market size might even be smaller than the second tier Pac-12 markets like Salt Lake, Tucson, Portland, Boulder and San Diego. 

The SEC's largest markets are Nashvile, New Orleans, St Louis and Little Rock. Atlanta, Memphis, Miami, Louisville, Kansas City and Houston are all either shared or dominated by another program. 

The Big Ten controls the second largest region right now with markets like Detroit, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Millwaukee, Chicago, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Cinncinati and Columbus. Notre Dame would be a game changer considering the national base for that program. 

If the Pac-12 extends to Texas and Oklahoma, it's over. Adding Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, much of Houston and Oklahoma City would be huge. 

If the Big East falls, the ACC will become huge as well.

TV revenue would likely go in order of market size, so: Pac-12, Big Ten, ACC and SEC. (This is assuming that Texas goes west and the Big East falls). Currently, Things shape up as Pac-12, Big Ten, SEC, Big-12, ACC and Big East.  



Since: Sep 5, 2010
Posted on: February 17, 2012 9:45 pm
 

SEC paying out record $19.5 million to members

@UWVDad... you must really hate the NFL then with its profit-sharing. Of course, you must also really hate the billions of annual government subsidies that are given to huge multi-international corporations that already rake in billions of profits. I won't even bother to get into the amounts of money we "throw away" on social security, medicare/medicaid, etc. especially since most collect 100's% more than they paid in.  

Oh wait, No. We just hate welfare recipients that collect $400 per month or that Duke football is getting money "they didn't earn" (but that they make back tenfold for the conference via basketball).

While we're at it... Since your child (based on your username) goes to a large state school, you must think its absolutely and downright illegal for all of those out-of-state kids to pay more for their tuition than your child - simply to recieve the same education - regardless of your annual earnings (assuming you live in-state).

My only point, really, is that its a two-way street. And common sense not to mention morality says we get more from assisting the frail than promoting only the sturdy - i.e. a chain (and society) is only as strong as its weakest link.



Since: Oct 22, 2006
Posted on: February 17, 2012 9:43 pm
 

SEC paying out record $19.5 million to members

true grit you are a ****** idiot! there is no call for racial comments period we are all made in gods image and are equals!!! i am a 21 year old white male and i've seen rascism from all sides black white spanish arabs and its just sad and stupid!! you sir must grow up and quit being ignorant!!


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com