The return of Big Ten football – even in a pandemic-shortened season – should bring a good percentage of TV revenue back to schools, experts say.
An Ohio State-focused analysis on Buckeye Extra quotes sports media consultant Patrick Crakes, who estimates that the school will see a return of at least 80% of the conference-distributed TV revenue. For 2019, Ohio State brought in $45 million in media rights payments. That money comes through the Big Ten, which comes to broadcasting deals with TV networks and distributes the money out to the conference’s 14 member schools.
Nebraska-focuses site Husker Online writes that one unnamed sports analyst “predicted Big Ten schools will recoup about two-thirds of their media revenue sharing.” The Husker Online report estimates the regained media revenue at about $36 million per school.
Regaining that income could be very important to Big Ten athletic departments, many of which are facing severe budget shortfalls amid the coronavirus pandemic. A Wisconsin-based NBC affiliate reports that the University of Wisconsin could still see a revenue drop of $60-70 million, even with the return of football. Wisconsin had previously estimated the revenue loss at about $100 million without a football season.
That $100 million figure is the same one cited by the University of Iowa when it eliminated four varsity sports teams, including men’s and women’s swimming & diving.