The ACC, Big 10, Big 12, PAC-12, and SEC all fuel their athletic departments with massive TV deals. We ranked the Power 5 football conferences based on the size of these TV contracts.
Although the SEC reigns supreme most years on the field, the Big 10 is the winner in the boardroom.
The Big 10 is the overall TV winner, and the SEC isn’t far behind, in part, due to conference realignment that has seen both leagues add huge schools (USC, UCLA, Texas, Oklahoma) from other conferences in recent years.
In the list that follows, each of the Power 5 programs are ranked by the largest overall television contract amount, with other noteworthy figures included. It’s hard to match the Big 10, which will play on national TV from coast to coast every Saturday on CBS, FOX, and NBC.
#1. Big 10
The Big 10 signed a seven-year, $7 billion deal with NBC, FOX, and CBS that takes effect in 2023-24.
In 2024, UCLA, USC, Oregon, and Washington will join the Big 10 to make 16 teams. According to reporting by Adam Rittenberg at ESPN, each team will receive between $80-100 million annually from the television contracts. In 2023, CBS will air seven games, FOX will air 24-27 games, NBC will air 16 games, and eight games will air on Peacock.
CBS, NBC, and FOX will each have Saturday coverage in 2024. CBS will host the Big 10 Championship in 2024 and 2028. NBC will host the Championship game in 2026. Every other year under the deal will be hosted by FOX.
The current SEC TV deal with CBS and the SEC will expire following the 2023 season.
SEC media rights will then become the property of Disney which signed a 10-year deal worth about $3 billion that takes effect in 2024.
Each of the 14 schools could receive as much as $70 million annually. In 2024, all SEC games will be aired on Disney owned properties ABC, or ESPN. ABC will air up to 15 premier football games along with the SEC Championship. In a major change from the traditional SEC Game of the Week TV format, which locked the marquee game of the week into the 3:30 time slot, the new deal gives the SEC flexibility to “flex” its biggest matchups into a primetime slot on ABC.
#3. Big 12
ESPN and FOX signed an agreement with the Big 12 that will take effect in 2025. The six-year deal is worth $2.28 billion and will provide about $45 million to each of the conference’s 12 teams annually.
The deal will go into effect after Texas and Oklahoma depart for SEC, while UCF, BYU, Cincinnati, and Houston will join the Big 12 to return the number of teams to 12. With the announcement that Colorado is coming back to the Big 12, fans can expect more additions to the conference this year.
ESPN and Fox will pick games through a draft with ESPN getting the top selections. ESPN will host the Big 12 Championship.
The ACC signed a 20-year deal with ESPN that gives the network rights to football and other sports through the 2035-36 year worth about $3.6 billion.
The deal pays about $30.6 million to each of the 15 member schools including Notre Dame (for basketball) which holds its own media rights deal with NBC. ACC games will air on ESPN’s family of networks, and ABC.
#5. PAC 12
The Pac-12 media rights deal with ESPN and FOX expires at the end of the 2023-24 season. The Conference’s inability to negotiate a new TV deal caused a mass exodus of its biggest brands, moves that ultimately led to the downfall of the PAC-12 as we know it.
The current deal is worth $250 million per year and pays out about $20 million per school to the existing 12 members. Colorado, UCLA, USC, Oregon, and Washington are all departing the conference in 2024, leaving just 7 schools remaining.
Top Television Contracts
The Big 10 and SEC hold the largest of the contracts, leading some writers to view the two conferences as “the Power Two” with everyone else lagging behind in terms of media rights deals.
The recent Big 12 media rights deal gives that conference leverage moving forward as it will expire before Big 10 and SEC contracts will. The Pac-12 is the only Power 5 Conference that has media rights available until the early 2030s.