The NCAA runs a very profitable business and has been doing so for many years. As the governing body of college sports in the United States, it brings in a reported $1 billion from March Madness alone.
The association distributes a percentage of the revenue earned to college programs through its “Basketball Performance Fund,” which essentially allows the best schools to remain the best schools.
A team earns what’s referred to as a unit for every appearance in an NCAA Tournament game for the conference in which it’s a member. Last season, each unit was worth $338,887.
Appearances in the National Championship Game don’t count, but the teams which get to the final naturally earn the most.
Conferences receive said amount each year for six years and can distribute or use it however it chooses. A single unit is worth $2,033,322 over a six-year span.
According to sports business analyst Andrew Petcash, the bigger conferences distribute cash to member schools while the smaller ones spread it around the conference itself.
A deal signed in April 2010 which was set to run for 14 years saw the NCAA secure $10.8 billion from CBS and Turner Sports for exclusive broadcast rights. Another deal was struck in 2016 for eight more years plus $8.8 billion and will kick in in 2025 and expire in 2032.
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