UCLA on Wednesday received approval to join the Big Ten in 2024 as they had hoped. But there is one interesting thing.
UCLA announced over the summer that it would join rival USC in moving from the Pac-12 to the Big Ten.
The decision means that Los Angeles-based schools will leave behind nearly a century of tradition and rivalry in favor of a stronger football convention that promises more appearances on the streets. national media and more importantly money.
But not all of that newly earned money will go to UCLA.
The University of California Board of Trustees voted 11-5 to approve UCLA’s move to the Big Ten. The problem is that some of the money UCLA will get from being part of the Big Ten will have to go to Cal as a grant.
UC . regents approved a grant to the extent $2M-$10M for Cal, another member of the University of California system. The reason for the subsidy is that UCLA’s departure from Pac-12 for the Big Ten would adversely affect the finances of UC Berkeley, which is still part of Pac-12.
Pac-12 is seeking a new media rights agreement. Once that agreement is signed, UC Regents will determine how much benefit UCLA will pay Cal.
UCLA could earn about double ($60 million or so versus about $30 million) in annual payouts from a media rights deal from being a Big Ten member versus Pac -twelfth.
If UCLA remains in the Pac-12, the inclusion of the Los Angeles market would strengthen the conference’s position in negotiations with media companies.
UCLA is still getting ahead financially as part of this move, but the stipend payment and additional travel costs will eat into their bottom line.