TV revenues would double if Big Ten expands

So says a report by the Chicago Tribune:

Last year, schools received roughly $9 million each from the conference’s deal with ABC/ESPN and another $7 million to $8 million from the BTN. Add revenue from bowl games, the NCAA basketball tournament and licensing, and you arrive at the estimated $22 million-a-year distribution figure that’s the envy of every Division I school outside the Southeastern Conference.

If the Big Ten expands and chooses the right schools, conference officials have seen estimates of television revenues doubling by 2015-16.

If the conference could lock up the tri-state area (New York/New Jersey/Connecticut) by adding schools such as Rutgers, Syracuse and Connecticut — granted, a big “if” — it could add more than 9 million TV households. Rutgers is also an hour from Philadelphia and its 2.95 million households.

“That’s a lot of homes,” one TV executive said, “and a lot of money.”

As the article points out, if the Big Ten wants to maximize TV revenues, the conference could start scheduling more games during the weekday – specifically on Thursday nights. Ohio State and Indiana will host night games on Thursday, September 2, so maybe the conference is growing less apprehensive of scheduling weekday contests.

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