Utah getting $30.9 million in Pac-12 revenues, but conference still trails other Power Five leagues

FILE - In this Oct. 12, 2017, file photo, Commissioner Larry Scott gestures while speaking about the formation of a task force on recruitment issues during NCAA college basketball Pac-12 media day, in San Francisco. Top leaders from the major professional sports leagues and individual franchises are looking at ways to avoid the kinds of sexual misconduct scandals that have rocked politics and the entertainment industry. The Anti-Defamation League's new Sports Leadership Council, chaired by Pac-12 Conference Commissioner Larry Scott and also featuring key civil rights activists and women's sports advocates and representatives, held its first meeting last week in New York. In attendance were NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, NCAA President Mark Emmert along with other top leaders such as Big East Commissioner and former WNBA President Val Ackerman, various pro sports owners and team presidents.(AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

The Pac-12′s payout to the Utah athletic department for the year 2016-17 came in just shy of $31 million as part of the conference’s annual member distribution of revenue announced on Thursday.

The conference reported a record-year for total revenues with that number reaching $509 million, a 4 percent increase from the previous year. The $371 million member distribution, an 8-percent increase from the previous year, marks the most for the conference’s history. That equates to $30.9 million per school for each of the conference’s 12 member schools.

“The Pac-12 is committed to supporting the academic mission and athletic values of our universities, and we are pleased with the continued financial growth that supports this mission,” Pac-12 Commission Larry Scott said in a news release. “This commitment is core to our Pac-12 Networks, which annually showcases to a national audience 850 live Pac-12 events, including an unprecedented number of football, basketball, Olympic and women’s sports.”

While that number represents an all-time high for the Pac-12, it still falls behind Power 5 conferences such as the SEC, Big-12 and Big Ten.

By comparison, the SEC reportedly distributed an average of $40.9 million to its 14 schools from the 2016-17 revenues, while the Big 12 has reported a $34.3 million per school distribution.

The Big Ten and ACC have not yet reported its distribution for 2016-17, however, the Big Ten reported an average distribution of $34.5 million for 2015-16, and the Big Ten’s commissioner Bob Bowlsby told the Charleston Gazette-Mail in a recent interview that the expected a “substantial increase” over the previous year’s distribution. Last year, the ACC distributed $23.8 million to 14 schools as well as a payment of approximately $4 million to Notre Dame which is not a conference member in football.

The Pac-12′s announcement cited the four-year increase in the conference’s revenue since signing media rights agreements with ESPN and FOX and the conference launched the Pac-12 Network, the lone conference network owned entirely by its university members. Member distributions have increased by 63 percent and annual revenues by 53 percent since 2012-13, according to the conference.

The Pac-12′s broadcast deals have the the subject of much angst in recent years because of the conference’s failure to reach an agreement with DirectTV as well as the high volume of late starts in its premier sports — football and basketball — when broadcast nationally by ESPN and FOX.

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