Big Ten Football = Lots of Money


ImageWant to know how much money Big Ten schools rank from football alone? A lot and they are about to become very much wealthier. Before one bashes this money, just remember the next time you see a “softball complex” or an obscure sports facility being built on a Big Ten campus, that funding probably came from Big Ten football itself.

Hat Tip to Mike Carmin and his Big Ten football money article on

As a football enthusiast I remember very distinctly when the Big Ten Network kicked off in September 2007. The idea to air “Big Ten” only sporting events was laughed at by people not grasping the desire to see football games of all kinds. Six years later it is seen in almost 100 million homes in the U.S. and Canada. Financially it has paid its obligations and turned a profit just last year. Here is something else to ponder that Mike Carmin covered:

One year before BTN launched, the Big Ten Conference distributed about $14 million to each of its 11 schools.That was 2006-07. Six years later, that figure has jumped to more than $25 million.


Thats not all…..

According to documents obtained by the Journal & Courier from Purdue, the Big Ten is expected to distribute about $26.4 million per school after 2013-14 — and more than $35 million at the end of the 2016-17 academic year.

The robust payouts, which include a projected $30.1 million in 2014-15 and $33.3 million in 2015-16, will be sent to the core 11 Big Ten schools

Budgets vary greatly in the Big Ten when it comes to athletics. Ohio State currently operates a budget of $132 Million compared to Purdue who runs a budget of $70 Million. Here is the breakdown of revenue payments received:

Schools in the Big Ten share equally in the revenue generated by television contracts, NCAA distributions, bowl games — including Bowl Championship Series and the future College Football Playoff format — along with the gate receipts from the league’s men’s basketball tournament and football championship game.

The Big Ten is about to get a lot wealthier.  Many of their TV contracts are due to be re-negotiated in 2016-2017(Minus BTN which is a 25 year contract).


In 2006, the Big Ten signed a 10-year, $1 billion deal with CBS and ABC/ESPN for first-tier rights and a separate 25-year agreement with BTN. The Big Ten’s deal with Fox to broadcast the football championship game started in 2011 and ends in 2015.

Projections are just that, but the aforementioned $35 million per-school figure may pale in comparison to what each school will receive once the league’s next television contract is finalized.

“The ’16-’17 year is an important mark because that coincides with the end of our current television agreement with CBS, Fox and ESPN,” Traviolia said.

Look for many Big Ten schools to enjoy continued financial success well into the mid 2020’s and beyond. The next bigger task will be to break up the NCAA and let the conferences soak in their revenue they stockpile.