While the ACC has been slower on the take than some of its power five counterparts (see: TV network), there is positive financial news for the league, as the N&O’s Andrew Carter reported on Friday. The ACC is now ahead of the Pac-12 and Big 12 in its average per-team payout, though it still lags behind the SEC and Big Ten.
All five leagues saw significant revenue increases during the 2014-15 fiscal year. The SEC, for example, went from $325.9 million in revenue in 2013-14 to $527 million in 2014-15. The ACC saw an increase of more than $100 million, to $403.1 million.
The SEC and Big Ten both have successful television networks, leaving a revenue gap that the ACC cannot possibly close without some sort of network of its own. (It’s possible the “network” could end up a more forward-thinking online streaming setup.)
Still, it’s encouraging that the ACC is ahead of the Pac-12, which has had a network(s) for years. It goes to show that there’s a right way to approach a network (i.e., partnering with a big media organization like ESPN) and a wrong way (starting up a network independently, like the Pac-12 did). You still can’t get the Pac-12 Network on DirecTV. That’s a significant blow to that league’s bottom line.
The Big 12 is just kinda ... stuck. Texas has the Longhorn Network, but that’s doing nothing for the rest of the conference, obviously, which is one reason why expansion discussions began again this offseason. I’m not sure there is a solution to their relatively lagging revenue problem.
But the Big 12 got richer; everybody got quite a bit richer. Let’s have a money party. Or better yet, a money fight!