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Pac-12 Conference has revenue decrease for 2017-18 school year

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott speaks during the conference's college basketball media day in October. The current tax filing showed Scott’s annual salary rising above $5 million for the 2017 calendar year.
(Eric Risberg / Associated Press)

The Pac-12 suffered a dip in total revenue during the 2017-18 school year and continued to lag behind other major conferences in monies distributed to member universities, according to tax documents made public Monday.

Conference schools received about $31 million each, which put them in last place among their Power Five rivals, with the Atlantic Coast Conference yet to report its numbers.

The Pac-12 generated a total of $497 million, a year-on-year decrease that was attributed to losing out on some postseason money as the 2018 Rose Bowl took its turn in the College Football Playoff rotation.

About 75% of the overall revenue was distributed to schools, but the payout was significantly less than what the Big Ten ($54 million) and the Southeastern Conference ($43.7 million) gave to their members.

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With Pac-12 teams struggling in the football and basketball postseason of late, some coaches have grumbled about their programs being at a disadvantage.

Other conferences have generated more revenue by forming networks in partnership with major broadcasters. The Pac-12 has insisted upon owning and operating its own network in hopes of accumulating equity and scoring a bigger payday down the road.

But the Pac-12 Networks have struggled to gain wide distribution, most notably failing to sign a deal with DirecTV. In the meantime, the current tax filing showed Commissioner Larry Scott’s annual salary rising above $5 million for the 2017 calendar year.

The financial outlook could change when broadcast rights to marquee football and basketball games come up for renegotiation in 2024. The Pac-12 is also exploring an equity sale.

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Following a meeting in San Francisco, University of Colorado Chancellor Philip DiStefano said that he and his counterparts remain “confident in the future success and growth of the conference, in part because of our media strategy and the value we believe this will deliver.”

In other news, the Pac-12 will soften its transfer rule: Any athlete who switches schools but remains within the conference must sit out a year but will not lose any eligibility.

david.wharton@latimes.com

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