Big 12 distributes record amount of revenue to schools

IRVING, TX – The Big 12 conference wrapped up its annual spring meetings on Friday. A “significant result” at the close of the sessions was the announcement of this year’s financial distribution.

Each of the 10 current Big 12 institutions will receive $42.6 million for a total of $426 million. These revenues relate to the 2021-22 financial year. That’s a 20% increase from last year’s distribution and a 9% increase from pre-pandemic levels.

“This is very positive news,” said Texas Tech President Dr. Lawrence Schovanec. “I appreciate the excellent work of Bob [Bowlsby] and the office have done to manage the financial challenges of the pandemic and we find ourselves in a very strong position today.

The Big 12 predicts more revenue over the next few years.

“Distribution has increased by just over 25% over the past five years. So it just keeps going up,” Bowlsby said. “There are escalators built into TV deals as well as some of our bowl deals. And then we continued to compete well in the NCAA basketball tournament. We’ll go from 79 units to 80 units and that’s a six-year moving average. Our unit count will increase for the foreseeable future, so we’ll earn a bit more from there. This is a record distribution for us and I think we will continue to break records over the next two years.

Bowlsby projects in the final year of the Big 12 TV deal, total distribution for the league could jump another $50 million.

The Big 12 conference will welcome four new members in the coming years. BYU will join the league on July 1, 2023. At the same time, AAC institutions – UCF, Cincinnati and Houston – are working on early buyouts with their current league. They hope to join at the same time as BYU, but that will be no later than July 1, 2024.

When asked what percentage of revenue the new institutions would receive upon joining, Bowlsby declined to comment on specifics. However, last September Bowlsby said in a interview with BYUtv that the income of newcomers “would probably be 50%” of long-standing institutions.

Texas and Oklahoma are expected to remain members of the Big 12 until June 30, 2025. After that date, they will be members of the SEC. What the revenue streams look like for the Big 12 conference after the two bell cows leave is critical for the P5 league.

“Our current media contract runs through ’24-’25, and obviously there’s been some thought and discussion about what we’re doing moving forward,” Schovanec said. “And clearly, that’s going to be a major effort and the focus of the conference.”

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.