NCAA Generates $1.1B in Revenue As COVID Rebound Continues

  • Financial statements released this week revealed the NCAA earned slightly less than it did last year.
  • But it still raked in $940 million from television contracts and marketing/licensing fees.
NCAA-March-Madness
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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The NCAA raked in $1.14 billion in revenue in 2021-22, according to audited financial statements released this week. 

That’s just slightly less than the governing body earned in 2020-21 after bouncing back from a major pandemic shortfall.

However, Division I schools still received a larger share of revenue than they did in 2021 — the NCAA distributed $657 million to D-I programs, compared to $613.4 million the year prior.

The largest share came from television and licensing contracts totaling $940 million

  • The NCAA’s contract with CBS and Turner for the Division I men’s basketball tournament contributed $870 million. 
  • For the rest of the contract, which runs until 2032, the NCAA estimates it will earn $10.5 billion.
  • The NCAA’s contract with ESPN, which broadcasts 29 championships — including the vastly undervalued women’s basketball tournament — netted $43.5 million.

Despite not suffering any major COVID-19-related cancellations, the governing body also received $17 million in loss-of-value insurance.

(NCAA-Basketball)

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Future Outlook

The NCAA faces a major expense over the next few years: defending amateurism in court and in Congress with legal fees and lobbying expenses.

But it could also earn major growth in revenue when it renegotiates its ESPN television contract, which is up in 2024. The governing body could earn $112 million annually from women’s basketball alone — more than the entire 29-sport contract. 

It could also earn more by creating a new sponsorship tier for the sport.

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