When the University of Colorado Boulder decided to ditch the Big 12 and take up with the Pac-10, school officials thought they could expect $12 million to $14 million annually from the new arrangement. Well, the numbers are in, and it turns out the Buffs will get more than $20 million per year from joining what is now the Pac-12 (Denver Post). Other outlets have the numbers a bit different—such as $19 million annually, according to the Denver Business Journal—but the bottom line remains the same: The Pac-12's new deal with Fox and ESPN is worth roughly $3 billion over 12 years starting in 2012, compared to the $60 million it made in the final year of its previous agreement (Bloomberg), making it the most lucrative television deal in college sports.
Given the Post's claim that CU made just $6 million from the Big 12 annually (compared with CU's own number of $9 million to $10 million), when the new rate kicks in the university will have more than tripled its yearly haul from athletics television broadcasting. The pot at the end of the rainbow is a year away, though, and CU still owes the Big 12 a $6.5 million exit fee.