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ACC Revenue Hits New High, Still Behind SEC and Big Ten

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ACC commissioner Jim Phillips

The ACC recorded record revenue in the 2023 fiscal year, despite the uncertainty that has surrounded both the conference and the entire college football landscape.

According to a report by Steve Berkowitz of USA Today, the ACC brought in $707 million in revenue last year, which was third most among Power Five conferences (behind the SEC and Big Ten) and an increase of nearly $100 million.

“About $38 million of its increase came from TV revenue,” Berkowitz wrote. “The conference said in a statement that this was driven in part by Comcast picking up the ACC Network in December 2021, which made 2023 the first full fiscal year in which the network had reached full distribution.

“The conference increased its bowl revenue by about $40 million compared to 2022, primarily because the Orange Bowl was not a College Football Playoff semifinal following the 2022 season, so the ACC could get revenue from that game. That didn’t happen when the Orange Bowl was a semifinal after the 2021 season.”

Berkowitz further reported that the individual payout was somewhere between $43.3 million and $46.9 million, averaging $44.8 million. Notre Dame received $22.1 million as an independent.

The Power Five conferences as a whole recorded $3.55 billion in revenue, which is up just about 7%. The ACC experienced the most growth.

2023 revenue

Big Ten — $879.9 million

SEC — $852.6 million

ACC — $706.6 million

Pac-12 — $603.9 million

Big 12 — $510.7 million

The ACC has experienced continued growth in recent years, but the conference still lags way behind the Big Ten and ACC, and it will likely only get worse

The ACC is falling behind the Big Ten and SEC when it comes to the new College Football Playoff format.

The playoff format, which will include automatic bids and a division of berths across Power Four and Group of Six programs (and there was even discussion about automatic byes for SEC and Big Ten), is going to be some variation of auto-bids, CFP seeding, etc. It’s the money that stands out.

While no single school’s revenue will decrease with the expanded playoff expected to generate significantly more money, the gulf between conferences could be as significant as $300 million.

“The difference in distribution between the two sets of conferences — SEC/Big Ten and ACC/Big 12 — could exceed $300 million,” Yahoo! Sports’ Dellenger reported in March. “The Power Two stand to earn a combined figure that should eclipse $700 million, far more than the ACC and Big 12’s number of around $400 million. Roughly $115 million is slotted for the Group of Five.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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