Pac-12 revenue up 7%, ACC down slightly in 2018-19 fiscal year

The Pac-12 on Friday announced a 7% increase in total revenue for the 2018-19 financial year, while the ACC revealed a 2% decline over the same period.

The Pac-12 said its total revenues were $530 million and distributions were up 9%. The conference's 12 schools received an average distribution of $32.2 million per school. The Pac-12 said it decreased expenses overall by 6% over the period.

The ACC generated more than $455 million for the 2018-19 fiscal year -- down about $9 million from the previous season, according to tax records filed by the conference.

The 2% decline in total revenue was due largely to the Orange Bowl serving as a playoff host in December 2018, costing the league a second entry into the New Year's Six bowls.

Each ACC member institution, except Notre Dame, received at least $27 million, with an average of about $29 million per school. Notre Dame, which does not participate as a full member for football, received $7 million from the league.

The SEC, which announced their earnings in January, generated $721 million in 2018-19, distributing over $45 million each to its schools that received full shares. Mississippi received less because its football team was under a postseason ban.

While the ACC's member payout averages about $15 million per team less than the SEC and about $3 million less than the Pac-12, the ACC estimates it ranks ahead of both the Pac-12 and Big 12, which consist of fewer teams, in total revenue distribution.

According to the ACC's tax documents, it received about $288 million from television revenue, $88 million from bowl appearances, $60 million in NCAA payouts and $15 million from conference championships. The 2018-19 fiscal year distributions represent the final season prior to the launch of the league's linear network, which began broadcast in August 2019.

The equity value of the Pac-12 Networks are not included in the revenue results. The networks reported revenues of $123 million and net operating expenses of $90 million.

Since 2012 when the Pac-12 entered into a rights partnership with ESPN and Fox, league revenues have grown 59% (from $334 million to $530 million) and distributions have grown from $228 million to $387 million, a 70% increase.

"The Pac-12 continues to be focused on supporting our 7,000 student-athletes through the academic and athletic missions of our member universities," said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. "Our continued financial growth, media strategy under which all of our rights will be brought to market in 2024, and expense management efforts, will enable us to best support this mission."

The Pac-12 lost a key nonconference matchup this week when Oregon's game against Ohio State was scrapped when the Big Ten moved to a conference-only schedule because of the coronavirus pandemic. While the Pac-12 has not yet adopted a similar plan, the impact of these changes will not likely be felt until the 2021 financial reports.