Stop me if you’ve heard it before: The Pac-12 is in far worse shape than the other Power 5 conventions, especially when it comes to convention-specific networks.
In a series of features delving into the finances of the conference, John Wilner of the Mercury News reveals just how bad the situation is.
On Tuesday, Wilner estimated payouts for the Power 5 conferences, based on data revealed last week by USA Today. Those numbers put the Pac-12 at $19.8 million per school, far behind the other four conferences (the Big 12, at $35.6 million, was the next lowest).
And while Wilner notes that things should change once fiscal year 2022 results (next spring) are reported, the Pac-12 is falling further due to the strength of the ACC network’s distribution, thanks to its partnership with ESPN.
Conventions manage their distribution differently, making apples-to-apples comparisons a bit daunting. But just two years ago, the Pac-12 was sending (on average) $2 million to $3 million more to its schools than the ACC.
The expansion carriage of the ESPN-owned ACC network changed that dynamic.
According to USA Today, with distributions climbing 80 percent for the entirety of the 2020-21 sports calendar, the ACC would have passed the Pac-12 in revenue distribution, even though the Pac-12 played a normal football in the fall. Have played the season. 2020.
By the end of the 2024 fiscal year, Wilner estimates the Pac-12 will be the last to pay Power 5, $25 million less per school than the ACC in the conference’s calculations in four years.
So, what about the Pac-12 network? Wilner noted that at the end of 2020, they had 14.8 million subscribers (a number that is now likely to be lower), compared to around 50 million for BTN (an SBJ article from January put BTN at 54 million subscribers). judged, although other conference networks were not available for the data). They also noted that the Pac-12 network fetches 13 cents per subscriber per month, compared to 59 cents for BTN. The disparity in both subscriber and carriage fees results in a situation where the Pac-12 accounts for about a quarter of the value of a BTN, regardless of the quality and quantity of the content included in the network.
Wilner also estimates that the Pac-12 network will pay each school a total of $25 million over the dozen years since the network’s inception, much less than initially envisioned.
The short story here is that the Pac-12 is falling further behind its competition, and will need to do something with the network as part of the convention’s new rights deals if it aims to catch up with its peers nationwide. .