NCAA Revenue Drops $600M Without March Madness

    • Less than half the planned $600 million in distributions to Division I conferences were sent out.
    • The NCAA plans to hold the entire 2021 basketball tournament in Indiana.

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After months of speculation, we know how much the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the NCAA’s finances.

The organization suffered a $600 million drop in revenue in 2020, in part due to the cancellation of last year’s NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament.

When circumstances were better in 2019, the NCAA generated $868 million in multimedia and marketing rights fees from CBS and Turner. That helped fuel a $71 million profit on $1.1 billion in revenue.

The NCAA’s financial year ended on August 31, 2020 and included:

  • $519 million in revenue
  • A $56 million overall loss
  • A $702 million drop from 2019 NCAA tournament revenue
  • Recouping $270 million from cancellation insurance
  • Spending $473 million less on events

Less than half the planned $600 million in distributions to Division I conferences were sent out.

The pandemic has bled the NCAA of its net assets, which were down from $450 million in 2019 to $394 million in 2020.

Cancellation insurance is still in place for this year’s March Madness, but the show looks like it will go on. The NCAA plans to hold the entire basketball tournament in an Indiana bubble in hopes of ensuring the completion of its cash cow.