SEC Commissioner Mike Slive Talks Television Deal, Expansion

Second of four parts.

In 1991, eight years after beginning his one-man New Hampshire law practice that had come to focus exclusively on NCAA issues, Mike Slive accepted his first commissioner’s job, as head of the Midwest Conference. Successful as a commissioner of that league, four years later, Slive accepted an offer to become inaugural commissioner of the newly formed Conference USA. And seven years after that, in 2002, Slive became commissioner of the SEC, replacing Roy Kramer. At the time, the SEC was bringing in $27.7 million in revenue, a little over $2 million from television and bowl revenues were redistributed to each team.

By 2010, the eighth year of Slive’s tenure, the SEC would redistribute $209 million in revenue, just north of $17 million per team. While 2010 would mark the 29th consecutive year that the SEC led college football in attendance, what was the primary reason for the extraordinary growth in league revenue of 800 percent in just eight years?

One word: television.