By Mike Carmin, Lafayette (Ind.) Journal & Courier
Negotiations for the next Big Ten Conference television contract haven’t started, but that hasn’t stopped the league from projecting revenue for the 2017-18 academic year — the first year of the new deal.
In a document obtained by the Lafayette Journal & Courier through an open records request from Purdue University, 12 of the 14 schools (including Iowa) are projected to receive $44.5 million each through the league’s distribution plan. That’s the first year Nebraska becomes fully financially integrated into the conference, according to Big Ten deputy commissioner and treasurer Brad Traviolia.
Maryland and Rutgers officially join the Big Ten on July 1, but neither will receive full shares immediately. Traviolia said the two schools have a six-year financial integration plan — the same as Nebraska — and start receiving full revenue shares beginning in the 2020-21 school year.
The new television contract is expected to include more night football games, Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke has said, and the league will implement a nine-game schedule starting in 2016. More Big Ten matchups equal more value.
By June 30 of this year, 11 schools — excluding Nebraska — are expected to receive around $27 million each from television agreements, NCAA distributions, bowls and the league’s football championship game and the men’s basketball tournament.
Each year, the conference provides schools a projected total revenue distribution document to guide athletic departments in the budget process. The Big Ten projects revenue distribution during the next five years.
Future projections: $30.9 million in 2014-15; $34.1 million in 2015-16 and $35.5 million in 2016-17 for the 11 schools, excluding Nebraska.
Projections are just that and subject to change, but Traviolia said last spring that the numbers through 2016-17 are “very accurate and we wouldn’t expect any significant variance from those. Going forward, how we do in the next round of television negotiations will determine where those numbers go.”
The biggest revenue increase before the new television contract begins comes from bowl games, including the College Football Playoff, which starts following the 2014 season.
Eleven conference schools are expected to receive around $4.7 million from bowl distributions in 2014-15, more than double the projections this year. By 2016-17, the league is projecting schools will receive $7.1 million from the league’s bowl agreements.
The Big Ten is anticipating 12 schools will receive roughly $33 million in 2017-18 from television revenue alone — about a $10 million per school increase from 2016-17 projection, the final year of a 10-year, $1 billion deal which started in 2007-08.
That was the same year the Big Ten Network launched, providing schools additional television revenue to help fund facility projects and pay coaches’ salaries. One year before the BTN started, conference schools received around $14 million.
The Big Ten has current television contracts with ABC/ESPN, BTN, CBS and Fox.