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Pitt Receives Highest ACC Payout in 2021-2022 Fiscal Year



With all the talk about the ACC’s “magnificent seven,” it’s interesting to see that Pitt, not a group member, received the highest payout for the 2021-22 season, according to the tax returns publicly released by the conferences earlier today. This was mainly due to winning the ACC in football in 2021. Overall Pitt finished with a payout of $41.3 million and was followed by Virginia Tech (40.4 million) and Virginia (39 million).

The conference reported the third-highest revenue at $617 million, trailing the Big Ten ($845.6 million) and SEC ($802 million), who released their tax returns in February. All Power Five conferences combined received over $3.3 billion. While the ACC had the third-highest revenue, but Big 12 teams ended up receiving slightly more money as each payout was between $42 – $44 million, which made the ACC the fourth-highest average payout. On average, ACC schools received between $37.9 million to $41.3 million.

ACC payouts did increase from 2020-21 to 2021-22, partly due to Notre Dame’s compensation going from $35 million to $17.4 million. Notre Dame received a higher share in 2020 due to participating as a full-time ACC member during the pandemic. During that two-year stretch, the ACC saw a total revenue increase of $38.7 million (6.7%).

It’ll be interesting to see how the order of things change moving forward as the Big Ten and SEC, which already are far above the other three Power Five conferences, will likely see significant increases with major additions in (USC/UCLA – Big Ten, Texas/Oklahoma – SEC) as well as new lucrative TV deals.

Beyond that, seeing how the Big 12 fares stacked against the ACC will also be interesting. Part of the reason for the higher payout this year is the inclusion of Texas and Oklahoma plus only 10 schools to split money between. Going forward, Texas and Oklahoma will forgo $100 million from next year that will be distributed among the eight schools that stayed, likely increasing their payouts for the next fiscal year.

The Big 12 will also add four more schools (BYU, Cincinatti, Houston, and UCF) but they will not start out at full conference payouts. How much each school will make when all is said and done is unknown and various significantly across outlets. Some report that they can go down below $40 million a school average while others report that it may increase over $50 million. Regardless, it’s likely to remain on par with the ACC and PAC-12.

That is, of course, the PAC-12 figures things out. They still haven’t settled on a new TV deal, making their future revenue completely uncertain. The PAC-12 received the fourth-highest revenue ($580.9 million) but that will actually be smaller as they have to repay Comcast due to overpayments in their TV deal over the years. Each school received on average about $37 million, but their future is significantly more uncertain than the Big 12’s as they have yet to replace USC and UCLA, have yet to sign a TV deal and still have to repay Comcast.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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