Get ready to hear the NCAA theme music for a long, long time to come. Yesterday the NCAA and their broadcast partners at CBS/Turner agreed to an 8-year extension through 2032 worth $8.8 billion. That's right. The TV deal now officially runs long enough that my son could play during it as a freshman in college.
That's more than $1 billion per year getting shelled out to schools. So what does it mean for Purdue? Well, it means more cheddar for Mitch Daniels to crow about how the athletic department is run in the black and how he wants some of that black for the university general fund instead of for athletics (nevermind the current $2.398 billion endowment for the school).
Here is roughly how it breaks down. Every game in the tournament, aside from the championship game, carries two shares: one for each team. Those shares are distributed to the conference represented by the teams playing in them. Obviously the more teams you get in, the more shares you get. When a small school like Little Rock pulls an upset over a Purdue it not only takes a share from the Big Ten, it basically doubles the money that the Sun Belt (usually a one-bid league) would get from the NCAA.
This season the ACC set a record by earning 25 shares since they put six teams into the Sweet 16 and four into the Elite 8. Each share was worth $265,791. According to ESPN, that money is paid out in each of the next six years (2017-22), with the number for each game, or unit, growing each year of the payout. That puts the total value of a game played in this year's tournament at more than $1.59 million. The ACC earned close to $40 million on this year's tournament alone. Since the ACC splits that money to its schools and they have 15 teams, that is worth more than $2 million a year to each school in the conference.
This season the Big Ten had 15 shares, with Purdue and Michigan State costing the Big Ten at least four more since both were projected to reach the Sweet 16 by many. That comes out to $23.85 million for the Big Ten to split 14 ways. Purdue gets even more money out of that too because Maryland and Rutgers aren't up to full TV money shares yet (even Nebraska does not get there until 2018).
This number will only go up when the new deal kicks into place, too. Now you can say that Purdue helps itself by continuing to get into the tournament and actually winning a game or two. At over $1.59 million per game (and rising), that means the Boilers would guarantee themselves a payday of over $125,000 per NCAA Tournament win just for what Purdue and Purdue alone does.
And that is yet another reason why the whole "we run our program in the black" just does not carry a lot of weight with me. Just last year the total TV money to Purdue was over $32 million. That was close to half of Purdue's entire budget of $71,372,206 budget from 2013-14. Before selling a single ticket, t-shirt, jersey, or getting a single, First Team John Purdue Club donation of $200 Purdue's athletic budget is almost half paid for by TV money. When you sponsor the fewest sports in the Big Ten and have the lowest budget it is actually quite easy to turn a profit because of that sweet TV money, and this new TV deal will only help that.
The incoming money is only going to go up, and the new football deal will be coming soon, making it even easier for that "in the black" goal to be achieved.
Just imagine if the administration as a whole cared about football and how a winning team can be even more of a cash cow.