“It” being big money, that is.
The Southeastern Conference more than doubled revenue from media rights in the first year of its landmark 15-year contracts with ESPN and CBS, according to the league’s Internal Revenue Service filing for 2009-10.
If you look at the breakdown, you’ll get an idea of why the conference hasn’t jumped on board the playoff train.
In the period between Sept. 1, 2009 and Aug. 30, 2010, the SEC reported $153.3 million in revenue from television and satellite radio — up 155 percent from the $60.1 million it reported in the same category in 2008-09. [Emphasis added.] The league also saw a slight gain in revenue from postseason events, reporting $80.9 million in revenue in 2009-10, up from $78.8 million in 2008-09. Those two categories make up the vast majority of the league’s revenue.
The SEC makes almost twice as much from the regular season as it does the postseason. And it doesn’t share the regular season money with anyone else.