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 February 2017).

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$7.0487,859$7,422
ESPN2$0.8887,731$926
ESPNU$0.2369,207$191
TNT$1.7690,586$1,913
TBS$0.9191,995$1,004
Tru TV$0.1087,204$105
Fox Sports 1$0.9984,724$1,007
Fox Sports 2$0.3050,569$182
NBC Sports Network$0.3282,483$316
CBS Sports Network$0.26~60,000$187
BeIN Sport USA$0.1022,744$27
Galavision$0.0567,215$40
NFL Network$1.4071,292$1,197
MLB Network$0.2664,413$201
NBA TV$0.2351,728$143
NHL TV$0.32~37,000$142
Big Ten Network$0.39*~60,000$281
Pac-12 Network$0.39~12,000$58
SEC Network$0.66*~70,000$554
Golf Channel$0.3576,399$320

Sources: Estimates based on SNL Kagan reports, Nielsen via Sports TV Ratings and Sports Business Journal

* – 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$1,4662025
NBATurner (TNT)$1,2002025
NHLNBC$2002021
MLSESPN$452022
MLSFox Sports$302022
MLSGalavision$152022
FIFAFox Sports$532022
EPLNBC$1602022
UEFAFox Sports$302018
UEFAESPN$152019
NASCARNBC$4402022
NASCARFox Sports$3002022
UFCFox Sports$902018
BCS / CFPESPN$6102026
NCAACBS* / Turner$7712022
NCAAESPNU$422024
ACCESPN$2402027
Big TenFox Sports$2402023
Big TenESPN$1902023
Big TenBig Ten Network$1122032
Big TenCBS*$102023
Big 12ESPN$1102025
Big 12Fox Sports$902025
Pac-12ESPN$1102024
Pac-12Fox Sports$902024
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$12020
Conference USAESPN$12020
Conference USABeIN Sports$0.42020
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.

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.
  • Data on BeIN Sport USA: 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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