Conference USA, putting the not into have not

Holy declining television revenues, Batman!

The value of Conference USA’s television contracts has eroded even more than earlier reports indicated.

The league will receive about $2.8 million in TV revenue in 2016-2017 from four broadcast networks, according to documents The Virginian-Pilot obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

That’s about $200,000 for each school, according to notes Old Dominion officials received during C-USA’s spring meetings last month.

It represents a steep decline from the $15.4 million, or about $1.1 million per school, to be distributed this year.

To put that in some sort of perspective, $1.1 million wouldn’t even cover Georgia’s football recruiting budget… in 2o15.  $200k is what Georgia drops on support staff when Kirby wakes up in the morning and decides he needs a few more bodies to watch tape and send texts to recruits.

The bigger picture is hardly less disheartening for C-USA.

The league’s TV revenue has now fallen to among the lowest in the Football Bowl Subdivision, which continues to see a canyon-like widening in the financial gap between the haves and have-nots.

The SEC, at the top of the food chain, made $476 million in TV, bowl and NCAA tournament money in 2014-2015, with each school getting about $34 million. Among the Power 5 conferences, the ACC came in fifth, at $22.1 million per school.

In all, documents indicate that C-USA schools will split about $20.5 million in revenue from the league, including NCAA basketball tournament money. That’s down from the projected $34.4 million to be distributed this year.

The main thing propping up the revenues is football playoff money.

While SEC coaches are tooling around in exotic cars, C-USA coaches will be asked to meet by teleconference rather than in person.

Looks like they’re gonna need a bigger cupcake game payout.


Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

6 responses to “Conference USA, putting the not into have not

  1. ASEF

    The smaller schools hoped to remake college football in the image of college basketball – a gravy train where schools like Wichita State could ride the coattails of Kansas to profitability. That sound you hear is the final nails being driven into the coffin of that dream.


  2. HVL Dawg

    So we spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $40,000 per signee for recruiting. Oy vey.

    Amateur indeed.

    This whole thing is going to crash.


  3. Macallanlover

    Told you, these smaller schools need to play in the spring and have a monopoly on football. Just stop pretending you have value when matched against the big boys on Saturdays, whether on the field or in media appeal. They will never be regarded the same by the public, never. I could enjoy some decent 2nd tier games in March, April, and May. Christ, we watch dummied down scrimmages.


  4. The biggest thing that the mid-majors don’t seem to get regarding football is that NCAA doesn’t govern D1 football like it does everything else. The CBS/Turner contract for March Madness is controlled by the NCAA and its D1 member institutions unlike the CFP and the New Year’s 6 bowls which are controlled by the P5+Notre Dame.

    The demand for mid-major football on TV outside of Boise St. and now Houston just doesn’t exist. I would much rather go to our high school’s game on Friday night than to sit at home to watch MACtion on any of the WWL’s networks.