Power Five conferences see revenue grow by 33 percent in one year
The Power Five conferences brought home a huge payday in 2014-15
The Power Five combined for nearly $2.1 billion in revenue during 2014-15, up nearly $520 million from the previous year. The total, which amounted to roughly a 33 percent increase, can now be calculated after the ACC released its 2014-15 tax return on Friday.
While the NCAA defends amateurism in court, revenue generated by the SEC, Big Ten, ACC, Pac-12 and Big 12 more than doubled over a four-year period. The Power Five took in a little more than $1 billion in 2010-11 and reached $2.1 billion in 2014-15. Last year was the first season with the College Football Playoff, the SEC Network, some revised TV money due to expansion, and new bowl agreements.
Each conference's approximate 2014-15 payouts per school: SEC $32.7 million, Big Ten $32.4 million, ACC $27 million, Pac-12 $25.1 million, Big 12 $23.3 million.
The ACC reported $403 million in revenue, up nearly $100 million from a year earlier. That's in part due to a $31 million exit fee Maryland paid to leave the ACC.
The tax return shows the ACC distributed an average of $26.2 million per full member. (Notre Dame received about $6.2 million.) The payouts for full members ranged from $27.6 million for to about $24 million for Syracuse. The ACC provided about another $800,000 per school for championship reimbursements not reflected in the distribution.
Conference commissioner pay in 2014-15: Pac-12's Larry Scott $4 million, SEC's Mike Slive $3.6 million, ACC's John Swofford $2.7 million, Big Ten's Jim Delany $2.6 million, Big 12's Bob Bowlsby $2.6 million.
Swofford was credited with about a $600,000 raise from a year earlier. His base salary in 2014-15 was $2,618,543.
The ACC spent about $2.2 million in legal fees last year, with $1.75 million paid to Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP in Greensboro, , and $451,000 on Appel Law LLC in Atlanta. The total legal fees were down about $100,000 from 2013-14.
The conference spent $625,000 on Wasserman Media Group, which is exploring the possibility of an ACC Network with ESPN. Swofford told reporters this month that the ACC remains in "quality discussions" with ESPN. Swofford would not comment on a report that ESPN must pay the ACC $45 million if an ACC Network is not in place by July 1.
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