Major sports leagues earn BILLIONS of dollars every year. That money comes directly from YOUR cable bill.

The Numbers

Calculator. CC Flickr Photo by 401(K) 2013.The web app on this site’s front page calculates your share of each TV rights contract by using two key statistics:

  • The yearly payout of each television contract, and
  • The number of subscribers for each cable network (as of July 2015, according to Nielsen).

The formula for determining yearly revenue of a cable network is Subscriber Fee X Number of Homes X 12. Here’s the table we currently use to determine how much money each cable network earns every year:

NetworkSubscriber Fee (monthly)Number of homes (thousands)Annual Revenue (millions)
ESPN$6.6192,940$7,372
ESPN2$0.8392,855$925
ESPNU$0.2273,091$193
TNT$1.6594,259$1,866
TBS$0.8595,446$974
Tru TV$0.1090,962$109
Fox Sports 1$0.9984,309$1,002
Fox Sports 2$0.2846,659$157
NBC Sports Network$0.3083,874$302
CBS Sports Network$0.2661,000$190
BeIN Sport USA$0.1018,161$22
Galavision$0.0468,117$33
NFL Network$1.3170,466$1,108
MLB Network$0.2668,342$213
NBA TV$0.2955,785$194
NHL TV$0.3237,400$144
Big Ten Network$0.39*79,250$371
Pac-12 Network$0.3912,300$58
SEC Network$0.66*69,100$547
Golf Channel$0.3578,299$329

Sources: 1, 2

* – Numbers for Big Ten Network and SEC Network are estimated based on homes inside and outside of conference territories. Homes within Big Ten states, including New York and Maryland, pay $1.00/month for BTN. Homes within SEC states pay $1.30/month for SECN.

Of course, the total revenue only matters in terms of how much a network can spend. The equation in the web app only considers the number of homes (i.e., the number of paying subscribers) each network has. We then divide the dollar amount of each contract by the number of subscribers a network has. That’s the share of your cable bill that goes to each pro league and college conference.

Here’s the latest data we have on contracts the networks have with various leagues and conferences. These numbers apply to the current or upcoming seasons for each league, and they will be updated as new seasons begin. 

LeagueNetworkYearly Payment (Millions)Contract Expires
NFLESPN$1,9002022
MLBESPN$7002021
MLBFox Sports$5002021
MLBTurner (TBS)$3502021
NBAESPN$6002016
NBATurner (TNT)$3302016
NHLNBC$2002021
MLSESPN$452022
MLSFox Sports$302022
MLSGalavision$152022
FIFAFox Sports$532022
EPLNBC$83.32016
UEFAFox Sports$302018
UEFAESPN$152016
NASCARNBC$4402022
NASCARFox Sports$3002022
UFCFox Sports$902018
BCS / CFPESPN$6102026
NCAACBS* / Turner$7712022
NCAAESPNU$422024
ACCESPN$2402027
Big TenESPN$1002016
Big TenBig Ten Network$1122032
Big TenCBS*$122017
Big TenFox Sports$242016
Big 12ESPN$1102025
Big 12Fox Sports$902025
Pac-12ESPN$1032024
Pac-12Fox Sports$912024
Pac-12Pac-12 Network$60Unknown
SECESPN$1502024
SECCBS*$552024
SECSEC Network$77Open-ended
American AthleticESPN$182020
Big East Fox Sports$422026
Conference USACBS Sports Network$72016
Conference USAFox Sports$72016
Mountain WestCBS Sports Network$122020
Mountain WestESPN$62020

* – CBS’ deals with the NCAA, Big Ten, and SEC are for its broadcast network, not its cable channel.
+ – Pac-12 numbers are for 2014-15 season only and will escalate based on this table.

We are always looking for updated information to improve our app. At the moment, here are some specific items we’re seeking:

  • Payout information for the Pac-12 Network. (i.e., the amount of its income that actually goes to the schools.)
  • Accurate numbers on Fox Sports’ deals with UEFA for the U.S. TV rights for the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.
  • Hard data on BeIN Sport USA: Carriage fee, terms of their deals with La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1, etc.

If you have information on any of these items, or if you have updated information on carriage fees and subscribers for any network, feel free to drop us a line at numbers@whatyoupayforsports.com.

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