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College TV deals show huge paydays for Big Ten, SEC, ACC; projections top $1 billion in 24-25

The college athletics world is in a state of flux, but big money is scheduled and projected to keep flowing into college football - especially in the sport's top conferences.

The Big Ten is poised to top $450 million in college football television revenues by next season, and broadcast money never has been greater across the sport – even as rules changes and impending seismic shifts in conference makeups usher in an all-new era.

Per Forbes, the Big Ten Conference is set to realize $437 million in TV broadcast revenue payments from its partners in the upcoming season and then is poised to crest $4500 million in each of the following four years of its deal.

It's easily the most lucrative deal among the college leagues – as presently constructed – in the near term.

However, the Southeastern Conference's back-loaded TV deals are projected to pay the powerhouse league a whopping $599 million combined for the 2024-25 seasons, per Forbes and industry estimates. The league's exclusive-rights deal with CBS expires after the 2023 season, but the SEC has touted the growth of its own platform, the SEC Network, and also positioned itself for a huge financial windfall with upcoming maneuvers.

Sources this week told FootballScoop that the SEC's impending acquisitions of both the University of Oklahoma and University of Texas – already accepted for membership; their exits from the Big 12 Conference guaranteed no later than before the 2025 football season – was expected to boost that league's next TV deal into unprecedented levels of broadcast revenues.

Per one source who has been directly involved in talks among the power conferences, network television and the College Football Playoffs, SEC schools could be positioned to receive approximately $80 million apiece when the league folds in the Longhorns and Sooners.

Most recently, the SEC has distributed approximately $46 million to its 14 member schools – though the league also earlier this year revealed it had planned to distribute additional payments to its institutions as a result of financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ACC's top-end of its current deal does not have the league scheduled to crest $200 million until the 2025 season; of the Power 5 conferences, the Big 12 and PAC-12 are not projected to command more than $155 million throughout the duration of their deals – a situation that leaves those two leagues, at best, a minimum of $50 million annually behind their P5 brethren.

The American Athletic Conference, buoyed by the recent on-field successes of members Central Florida, Cincinnati and even Memphis, as well as programs in major media markets such as Orlando, Florida; Houston, Dallas, and Philadelphia tops the Group of 5 conferences with a top-end projection of $76 million in 2025.