Big 12 Dishes Out Record Amount Of Revenue To Schools

Jun 3, 2022, 4:06 PM | Updated: 4:12 pm
Big 12 Conference, Bob Bowlsby, Lawrence Schovanec...
Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby and league Board of Directors Chair Dr. Lawrence Schovanec announced record revenue. (Photo: Mitch Harper,
(Photo: Mitch Harper,

IRVING, Texas – The Big 12 Conference closed out its annual spring meetings on Friday. A “significant outcome” at the close of the sessions was the announcement of this year’s financial distribution.

Each of the 10 current Big 12 institutions will receive $42.6 million for a total of $426 million. These earnings are for the 2021-22 fiscal year. That’s a 20% increase over last year’s distribution and a 9% increase over the pre-pandemic levels.

“That’s very positive news,” said Texas Tech President Dr. Lawrence Schovanec. “I appreciate the great work Bob [Bowlsby] and the office have done in managing the financial challenges of the pandemic and we find ourselves in a very strong position today.”

The Big 12 projects more revenue coming in over the next few years.

“The distribution is up a little over 25% over the last five years. So it continues to climb,” Bowlsby said. “There are escalators built-in to the television agreements as well as some of our bowl agreements. And then we have continued to compete well in the NCAA Basketball Tournament. We’ll move from 79 units to 80 units and that’s a rolling six-year average. Our number of units will be up for the foreseeable future, so we’ll gain a little bit more from there. This is a record distribution for us and I think we’ll continue to break records in the next two years.”

Bowlsby projects in the final year of the Big 12’s television deal, total distribution for the league could jump another $50 million.

The Big 12 Conference will welcome four new members into the fold in the coming years. BYU will join the league on July 1, 2023. At the same time, the AAC institutions — UCF, Cincinnati, and Houston — are working on early buy-outs with their current league. They hope to join at the same time as BYU, but it will be no later than July 1, 2024.

When asked what percentage of revenue the new institutions would receive when they join, Bowlsby declined to comment on the specifics. However, last September, Bowlsby said in an interview with BYUtv that the newcomers’ revenue “would likely be 50%” of the longstanding institutions.

Texas and Oklahoma are expected to remain Big 12 members until June 30, 2025. After that date, they will be members of the SEC. What revenue streams look like for the Big 12 Conference after the two bell cows leave is an essential piece for the P5 league.

“Our current media deal runs through ’24-’25, and obviously, there has been thought and discussion about what we do moving forward,” said Schovanec. “And clearly, that’s going to be a major effort and focus of the conference.”

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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