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Big Ten revenue could double with expansion

While the academic side of the equation will certainly play some type of role if/when the Big Ten decides to expand, there’s no doubt that the overriding factor will be what can be gained financially.

In an excellent piece in this morning’s Chicago Tribune, writer Teddy Greenstein lays out the expansion economics, and puts into words exactly why the likes of Missouri, Nebraska, Rutgers et al are likely privately licking their chops in anticipation of an invite from the cash cow known as the Big Ten.

Currently, Greenstein reports, each individual Big Ten school receives roughly $22 million annually — $9 million from ABC/ESPN TV deals and $7-$8 million from the Big Ten Network, with the remaining $5 million coming from bowl revenue, NCAA men’s basketball tournament and licensing.

If the Big Ten finds the right combination of schools to add — no doubt Rutgers and the New York City market is part of that expanded television footprint plan — estimates have shown that television revenue could double by 2015-2016.

In other words, in just a few years, each school could be in line to receive upwards of $40 million simply because they are members of the Big Ten conference.

Forty.  Million.  Dollars.  Annually.

Is the picture becoming clearer as to exactly why most schools — with the exception of Texas and Notre Dame — would be tripping over themselves to get to the head of the expansion line?

Of course, there’s the concern of diluting the product that’s currently making the conference money hand over fist right now, but that seems to be a risk Jim Delany and others are willing to take.  Especially if they can get into that NYC market and pull in at least 15x — or more — the rights fees it currently collects from that area.

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Respond to “Big Ten revenue could double with expansion”
  1. MN Boise Fan says: May 14, 2010 3:32 PM

    If these numbers are even close to acurate, this is going to be a shake up the likes of which we have never seen before. 3 or 5 to the Big 10, 4 to the SEC, at least 2 to the Pac 10. Exciting time to be a fan of NCAA football and basketball

  2. Tom Shannon says: May 14, 2010 4:08 PM

    John, I’m pretty sure you meant “Teddy Greenstein”.

  3. John Taylor says: May 14, 2010 4:15 PM

    Why was Alan Greenspan in my head and how do I get him out?
    And thanks…

  4. grandavenue says: May 14, 2010 5:02 PM

    Clearly it’s disaterous to leave Texas and Denver’s markets. Just to go to New York City, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Cinncinatti, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Pittsburg, Philadelphia while keeping Omaha, St Louis, and Kansas Citie’s markets.
    Seems like a logical choice:
    Smaller Markets or Most of the Largest Markets in the Country.
    $40 Million.
    5 top programs
    Reach from New England to Nebraska
    Missouri and Nebraska would be fools to not join. Especially since the Big Ten is obviously interested in having them join.

  5. PolegoJim says: May 15, 2010 9:55 AM

    Nebraska – yes
    Rutgers – yes
    Mizzou – no

  6. dotbo says: May 15, 2010 11:18 AM

    PolegoJim: Why Not Mizzou? They have the St. Louis and Kansas City markets, which are big!
    Notre Dame is the apple of the Big 10’s eye. The Big 10 would be very very lucky to get Notre Dame’s allegiance! ND enjoys a nationwide fanbase, and a nationwide hate-base (including myself).
    Just ask Freakbass!

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