The Big Ten and SEC may still have the edge when it comes to football revenue, but the Pac-12 has managed to crack the top spot in overall college sports revenue.
According to a report by USA Today, the Pac-12 reported $334 million in total revenue for the most recent fiscal year. That total topped the Big Ten by roughly $15.5 million and the SEC by $19.5 million. Not that anybody should feel sorry for the Big Ten or SEC, of course, and individual conference members will be just fine. The Pac-12 though is benefitting from the foresight by commissioner Larry Scott, who was hired just for this reason.
One of the biggest pushes for the Pac-12’s revenue increase came from new media rights deals with ESPN and FOX, although the conference has voiced some unsettling opinions on the relationship with FOX, and the introduction of the Pac-12 Networks. Much like the Big Ten has benefitted from the Big Ten Network and the SEC anticipates cashing in on the introduction of the SEC Network later this summer, the Pac-12 saw the fiscal advantage of owning and operating a conference-branded network.
In addition to the rise in conference revenue, the Pac-12 also made Scott the highest-paid conference commissioner in college sports by paying Scott just over $3.3 million. That means Scott saw a raise of about $200,000 from 2011.