ACC revenue edges down slightly to $373 million, tax returns show

ACC revenue dipped slightly to $373 million for the 2015-16 year, according to its federal tax return released Friday.

There are two reasons the overall revenue decreased.

The $403 million it earned the previous year included a $31 million exit fee payment from Maryland and a payout from its primary bowl partner, the Capital One Orange Bowl. In 2015-16, the Orange Bowl hosted the College Football Playoff semifinals, so the payout from that game did not belong to the ACC.

Despite the decrease in 2015-16, the ACC received more revenue from its television payout, up $9 million to $226 million. It also received $85.9 million in bowl payouts, and $20.6 million from the NCAA basketball tournament (also an increase).

The 14 full-time member schools received an average of $26.3 million. Notre Dame, a member in all sports but football, received $4.25 million. Clemson led the way among all ACC schools, receiving $27.9 million.

Commissioner John Swofford also got a raise, with a total compensation at nearly $3 million.

In addition, the league also paid its schools more than $13.2 million in championship reimbursements, which is not reflected in the payout figures. The league does not own any of the individual schools' marketing or merchandise rights, so individual school revenue does not include any of its multimedia deals.

Earlier this year, the SEC reported $584.2 million in total revenue for 2015-16 thanks, in part, to the SEC Network.

In acknowledging that gap during ACC spring meetings Thursday, Swofford said, "That's why we're doing the channel," referencing the forthcoming linear ACC Network, set to launch in 2019. "We fully expect a gap with particularly the Big Ten and SEC here for a couple of years, but that's the very reason we've signed to do what we're doing. We fully expect that gap will narrow considerably when we get the channel up and running."