It just means more … money.
The Southeastern Conference brought in $853 million in revenue during the 2023 fiscal year, new tax reports showed Thursday. The league earned about $50 million more than the previous fiscal year.
The 14 member schools each received about $51.3 million in distributions. In 2022 the average distribution was nearly $50 million per school.
Last year’s haul puts the conference on pace to crack a billion dollars this current year as college sports giants the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas are set to join the conference in a year in which the College Football Playoff expands to 12 teams, hypothetically giving more in-conference teams a shot at the title—and the money that comes with it. The conference’s new TV deal, worth $3 million, and ESPN as a primary partner over CBS, doesn’t hurt either.
Money has long had the loudest voice in most industries, and college footballs have screamed in recent years as financial rewards have paved the way for conference expansion and an additional eight teams to the Playoff. Oklahoma and Texas, once co-kings of the Big 12, decided to leave the conference for the SEC in 2021, setting off a new round of conference realignment that saw West Coast powers such as Oregon and UCLA leave the Pac-12 Conference to join the Midwest-based Big Ten. The Pac-12 leftovers landed in the Big 12 and Mountain West, among others.
This week, the SEC and Big Ten announced a partnership to work together on the growing issues in college sports, a sign some around the college space believe to be the first sign of the major conferences breaking away from the NCAA. As always, money will lead the way in that decision, too.