While conferences like the Big Ten and SEC have always split revenues from television deals equally amongst the schools within their conferences, that has never been the case in the Pac-10. In the Pac-10, while the conference splits revenues from bowl appearances and the NCAA basketball tournament, television money has always been distributed according to the number of times each team has appeared on television.
The more often you are on television, the more money you'll get.
Now you would think that this would change once the conference expands to twelve teams next season, as the conference looks for a new television deal that should be a lot more lucrative than its current deal, and also has its eyes on its own television network like the Big Ten has. However, according to a report in The Seattle Times, that's not the case. The current arrangement being discussed would see the two Los Angeles schools, USC and UCLA, getting $2 million more than the ten other schools in the new Pac-12.
Sources familiar with the Pac-10's recent discussions over the expansion issues say the presidents will vote on a proposed $2 million-per-year payout apiece for USC and UCLA above the other 10 members of the new Pac-12 until the year that combined broadcast revenues reach a certain threshold. Then the 12 members would share equally.The Pac-10 currently pulls in about $53 million annually from its television deals for football and basketball, though that number should grow by quite a bit when a new deal is struck. Still, just because the conference should earn a lot more money, that doesn't mean it's guaranteed. Which, if were to happen, could lead to trouble for the conference down the line.
That threshold is still in question, and probably will range from $130 million to $170 million annually. Consensus on the number could be fine-tuned already, as Scott is known to have had back-channel talks with presidents as a result of groundwork laid by athletic directors in recent months.
Just ask the Big 12 what happens when one team gets a bigger piece of the pie than the rest, and other grow tired of being treated like a lesser member of the conference.