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.