LSU sees $9.62M deficit for FY '21 amid pandemic restrictions

Pandemic forced LSU to reduce Tiger Stadium’s capacity to 25% throughout '20 football season, which slashed ticket salesGETTY IMAGES

LSU "produced a deficit" of $9.62M in FY '21, as the athletic department "lost money as it tried to navigate restrictions and fell well below profits made in previous years," according to Wilson Alexander of the Baton Rouge ADVOCATE. LSU’s athletic revenue dropped to $121.89M, a $38.53M "dip from the previous fiscal year." The athletic department had "reported profits every year since at least 2004." The pandemic forced LSU to "reduce Tiger Stadium’s capacity to 25%" throughout the '20 football season, which "slashed ticket sales." LSU made an average of $36M "per year over the previous five seasons on football tickets," but only reported $5.69M for last season. Men’s basketball "posted a budget hit" of $149,421, and the team saw a $1.6M "loss in ticket sales from the previous year." Contributions also "dropped across the board," plummeting from $41.28M the previous year to $19.8M. Those made to the football team "fell by" $15.78M. LSU athletics during the fall of '20 said that it "expected to lose" $80M in revenue. The department responded by "eliminating 20 jobs, instituting pay cuts and stopping bonuses." It "lowered its expenses" by $24M from the previous year through "various reductions." To offset some of the losses, the athletic department "received" $29.41M from the SEC (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 1/26).

SBJ Spotlight: TikTok’s threat to traditional sports media

While tech companies are consumed with finding ways to compete with TikTok, almost no one in conventional media “spends any time talking about it,” said Recode senior correspondent Peter Kafka in an Spotlight interview with SBJ’s John Ourand. “To me, that’s just an obvious disconnect.” Kafka authored a recent column headlined, “It’s TikTok’s world. Can TV live in it?” He said the main response to TikTok’s growth from traditional media execs has been to “punt and hope it’s someone else’s problem a quarter from now or two years from now.” But Kafka said that ignores the trend of conventional broadcast audiences growing older while a billion younger consumers spend most of their media time watching short video after short video. “If you’re in the business of getting anyone under the age of 30 to look at what you’re putting on a screen, you have to think about the fact that you’re probably asking them to put down TikTok and watch your thing instead,” said Kafka. “That’s a very difficult ask. … [TikTok] is insanely addictive.”

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