South Carolina AD Ray Tanner told his school yesterday that the SEC Network is ahead of schedule on the money printing business:
"Long story short, when we first started talking about the network, they said we’d probably realize a benefit in Year 3," Tanner told the BOT. "Obviously it’s been more successful than that. This summer we’ll receive a distribution (and) I think it will be at least $5 million. I’d like to think that’s on the conservative side. Each school will receive a $5 million gain."
(H/T Tom Fornelli, CBS)
That's not far behind the $7.6 million that Big Ten schools will get from their far older and more established network.
The SECN has had a pretty great first year, and the fact that it's throwing off cash right away makes it an even more encouraging sign. Given the small rotation of commercials and generally low quality of them, I suspect the network's profit ceiling is far above what it brought in this year.
I also wonder how long ago that schools knew this information about it paying out right away, because this winter was one of the most lucrative for coaches I can remember. Auburn broke the bank on hiring Will Muschamp as a coordinator, Texas A&M gave John Chavis a raise above his already over $1 million salary, Georgia gave Jeremy Pruitt nearly a half million dollar raise to push him well above $1 million, and Florida paid the highest buyout ever to pry Jim McElwain away from Colorado State on top of a huge buyout for getting rid of Muschamp.
Coaches salaries have been rising for a while, and the SEC has always been a big part of that. Still though, I can't ever remember schools tossing around this much money all at once. The higher College Football Playoff versus the BCS may have played a part, but SECN money might have too.