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Despite COVID-19 pandemic impacts, SEC distributing record $54.6 million to members

In less than seven years' time, the SEC has nearly doubled its distribution to member schools

A year after the COVID-19 pandemic reduced capacities inside football stadiums, basketball arenas and other venues, the Southeastern Conference on Thursday nonetheless announced its revenue distribution to member schools had collectively soared more than $100 million.

In figures released by the SEC, after the league's football coaches met in person at the conference's Birmingham, Alabama, headquarters for the first time in two years, each of the SEC's member schools was awarded $54.6 million -- part of a league-record distribution of $777.8 million for the fiscal year that ended Aug. 31, 2021. 

The league in the previous year had reported distributions to its member schools of approximately $45.5 million.

Revenue distributions are made after member teams who participate in postseason college football bowls and playoffs deduct their expenses from those events. 

Despite these financials including the pandemic-shortened 2020 football season, which saw the league play a 10-game, conference-only schedule that featured numerous games to be rescheduled or outright cancelled, the SEC increased revenue yet again, particularly as it generated an increase in TV and broadcasting monies.

In layman's terms, the SEC just distributed record revenues among its members despite the fiscal year including the '20 football season that saw most league stadiums at or well below 25% capacity.

Moreover, in less than seven years' time, from the league's annual SEC Spring Meetings in the Florida panhandle where distributions previously were announced at those Memorial Day week events, the SEC has nearly doubled its revenue distribution from approximately $31 million to the $54.6 it is now delivering to each program.