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Pac-12 revenue declined in 2018 fiscal year

Despite drop, per-school distribution slightly increased to $31.3 million

Colorado's revenue distribution actually increased in 2018 while the Pac-12's revenue decreased slightly, the conference announced Monday.
Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
Colorado’s revenue distribution actually increased in 2018 while the Pac-12’s revenue decreased slightly, the conference announced Monday.

The loss of Rose Bowl money led to a decline in overall revenue for the Pac-12 Conference for the 2018 fiscal year.

On Monday, the Pac-12 released its federal tax filings, revealing a revenue drop of roughly $12 million from the previous year. Combined revenue for the Pac-12 and the Pac-12 Networks totaled just under $497 million for fiscal year 2018, down from $509 million a year ago.

The decrease was attributed to the conference being unable to completely make up for the loss of Rose Bowl revenue. In most years, the conference receives millions of dollars from the Rose Bowl – for the fiscal year 2017, that number was just over $36.5 million.

Every three years, however, the Rose Bowl hosts a College Football Playoff semifinal, leaving the Pac-12 champion to play in a different New Year’s Six game. It also means the conference misses out on that revenue.

Because of the decrease in revenue, the audited value of conference distributions slipped to about $354 million – or roughly $29.5 million per school.

However, the conference did plan for the loss of Rose Bowl revenue and held money in reserve over the previous two years. Because of that, the actual cash distribution to each Pac-12 school for the 2018 fiscal year was roughly $31.3 million, a slight increase from the $30.9 million per-school distribution from fiscal year 2017.

The Pac-12 continues to lag behind other Power Five conferences in distribution money, however. While the ACC has not reported its 2018 fiscal year distributions, the other four conferences have, with the Big Ten ($54 million per school), SEC ($43.7 million per school) and Big 12 ($36.5 million per school) all ahead of the Pac-12.

Other items to come out of Monday’s meeting with the Pac-12 CEO group:

  • Tax filings showed that Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott earned nearly $5.3 million in the 2017 calendar year – an increase of about $500,000 over the previous year.
  • The CEO group, chaired by Colorado chancellor Philip DiStefano, approved the extension of $3.6 million in annual funding for the student-athlete health and well-being initiative for five more years, and the group will review the program after three years. The group also increased the amount of funding to on-campus mental health services to $1.1 million. “This is a critical need at all of our campuses and we believe this is the right thing to do to support our student athletes,” DiStefano said.
  • The Raine Group continues to search the market to help the Pac-12 find a strategic partner for media rights, but it will be a while before there’s a resolution there. “There has been significant interest from some of the most respected companies investing in this space,” DiStefano said. “While we had a robust discussion today of the pros and cons of such a deal, we did not make any final decisions.”
  • The group voted to eliminate the “loss of a season” penalty for any student-athlete transferring within the conference. A transferring student-athlete still must spend an academic year in residence before competing, but will not lose a season of competition in addition to the year in residence.