Media Rights and College Sports: How TV Deals Impact Universities


College athletics is big business and the media rights deals that universities sign with networks have a huge impact on the success of their athletic programs and overall finances. As technology continues to advance, so does the ability for fans to watch games, as well as student athletes’ ability to profit off their own personal brand. However, these deals also present legal challenges regarding student athletes’ eligibility for competition and how they are compensated while in school.  Say’s Jared Kamrass, here’s what you should know about college sports revenue, technology’s role in broadcasting games and much more:

The Power of TV

Television contracts are the biggest source of revenue for colleges, college sports and college athletics. In fact, TV money is so significant that it has allowed some schools to pay athletes in an attempt to keep them from transferring and earning a degree at another institution with higher graduation rates.

The power of television is evident when you consider how much money universities make off their football programs:

  • The University of Texas made $163 million from its Longhorn Network in 2018 alone — more than double what any other athletic program brought in (Notre Dame was second with $102 million).
  • Two years ago, Alabama earned $96 million from its own network — more than three times as much as any other school on this list did during that year (Ohio State ranked second).

College Sports Revenue

The amount of money that colleges generate from their sports programs is staggering. According to a report by the NCAA, Division I schools earned $6 billion in revenue in 2017-2018. Of that total, $3.09 billion was generated by media rights and licensing fees–a number that has doubled since 2009-2010.

In terms of how much goes back to universities and athletes respectively, it depends on where you look. While there are many different sources with varying amounts listed (including this article), most agree that about 60% goes toward paying coaches’ salaries and staff costs; 20% goes toward scholarships for athletes; another 15% covers facilities expenses such as maintenance or construction costs; 5% goes toward equipment purchases like uniforms or travel expenses; 2% covers administrative overhead such as legal counsel or accounting services; 2% pays for insurance premiums associated with injuries sustained during competition (this figure excludes health insurance); 1% covers advertising campaigns promoting school spirit amongst alumni/fans

What Role Does Technology Play?

Technology has changed the way people watch sports. It’s also changed the way people watch TV in general, and even more specifically, it has changed how college students consume sports.

In today’s world of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu as well as on-demand options like YouTube and Vimeo (to name just a few), fans can watch any game at any time from anywhere with an internet connection. This was not always possible: when I was growing up in the ’80s and ’90s, there was no such thing as instant replay–you had to wait until after the game ended before finding out what happened during those crucial moments you missed while getting snacks or going to bathroom! But now we have access to all kinds of different angles: slow motion shots; player perspectives; bird’s eye views of entire stadiums–you name it! And now these technologies are being used more frequently at all levels of play so that viewers can get closer than ever before with every play call made by coaches

The Impact on Student Athletes

Student athletes play a major role in the success of college sports. They bring energy and passion to their respective teams, which can help win games. However, these players are often underpaid or not paid at all while they play. Some student athletes even go hungry because they don’t have enough money to buy food or pay for rent.

  • How do student athletes feel about the deals?

Some student athletes don’t mind being paid less than other students on campus because they see it as an opportunity to gain experience before entering professional leagues like MLB or NFL after graduation. However, others think that they should be compensated fairly considering how much money these schools make off them every year through ticket sales and merchandise sales related specifically toward their team name/logo/colors etc… In addition many argue that this will prevent any potential corruption within NCAA programs due to greed since there would be no financial incentive involved anymore (since players aren’t getting paid).

Legal Issues Related to College Athletics and Media Rights Deals

Legal Issues Related to College Athletics and Media Rights Deals

The NCAA has a monopoly on college sports. It is a non-profit organization that regulates intercollegiate athletics and has contracts with CBS and Turner Broadcasting. However, it is subject to antitrust laws because of its control over the market for football games; therefore, it cannot prevent universities from negotiating with other networks or teams from leaving conferences if they choose.

A look at how media rights impact universities, specifically through TV deals

A look at how media rights impact universities, specifically through TV deals

College sports are inherently political. College football is one of the most profitable sports in America, but it’s also plagued by scandals and ethical issues that make it difficult to ignore. The student athletes who play these games don’t get paid for their work, which has led many people to question whether or not this system is fair or legal. But what about the rest of the university? How do media rights deals affect universities?


In conclusion, we can see that the media rights deals are a powerful force in the world of college sports. They affect everything from the revenue generated by universities to the way student athletes are treated. As technology continues to evolve, so will these deals and their impact on how we watch our favorite teams play each other on TV or online streaming services like Hulu (which doesn’t even exist yet!).

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