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NCAA insider says UCLA and USC are ‘following the money’ to $100M in possible TV revenue with Big-10

Jason Burgos
usc, ucla, big-10
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There was no doubt that USC and UCLA’s decision on Thursday to move to leave the PAC-12 for the Big-10 conference was motivated by money, but a new report has the actual figures they could make from switching leagues, and it’s astronomical.

Yesterday, much of the sports world was stunned when it was revealed that two of the biggest west coast universities in college athletics were taking their programs to the powerhouse conference of the mid-west and east, the Big-10.

At first, the news was just rumblings and hearsay. However, things quickly became a reality when it was confirmed that both schools had officially applied to join the conference in 2024 and that their applications had been accepted. What made it all the more stunning was the reveal that the two schools were the ones who initiated the move, and not the Big-10.

Related: USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins to bolt from Big 10 in 2024 as applications approved

With UCLA and USC, the Big-10 is now on the verge of a billion-dollar TV deal

usc, ucla, big-10
Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Well, while competition level certainly played a factor in those storied sports program’s decision to leave the PAC-12, in the end, huge sums of cold hard cash were a major influence on the move.

On a Friday edition of “First Take,” ESPN senior writer Heather Dinich reported that the two schools stand to make an extra nine figures a year by joining the Big-10 as it becomes a serious rival to the goliath that is the SEC. And it seems the college world is watching it all very closely.

“Every athletic director and university president from coast to coast is watching as the Big-10 and SEC separate themselves as the largest and wealthiest conferences in the country. The Big-10 is on the brink of what is reportedly going to be a billion-dollar TV deal that could pay its schools upwards of $100 million annually per school. So for USC and UCLA, this is about following the money and best positioning not only their football programs but their Olympic sports programs financially for the future … UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond texted me last night and he said we can not afford to stand still.”

Heather Dinich on UCLA and USC moving to big-10

In 2020, the SEC left their previous broadcast home of CBS to sign a $3 billion with ESPN in a deal that will begin in 2024.