Texas athletics revenue takes $48.1M dive during '20-21

Texas took in $44.1M in football ticket revenue in '19, but in '20, the number fell off a cliff -- down to $8.8MGETTY IMAGES

Univ. of Texas athletics "took a massive financial hit because of the pandemic," with total revenue "down about $48.1 million -- roughly one-fourth from the previous year -- during the 2020-21 athletic year," according to Brian Davis of the AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN. Expenses were down, but UT athletics "swung to a $14.6 million loss for the year after a long stretch of finishing in the black." Texas AD Chris Del Conte said that the school "dipped into its reserves to cover the loss ... and still gave the university of $6.8 million." No public money is used to fund any aspect of the athletic department, and that is "still true after COVID-19." Texas athletics "generates more than $200 million in total revenue." As the pandemic continued, Texas' total revenue "dropped to $152.7 million overall for the 2020-21 athletic year." Texas football "generated $146.8 million in football revenue for the 2019-20 athletic year," and that was "knocked down to $98.2 million" in '20-21. The school took in $44.1M in football ticket revenue in '19. In '20, the number "fell off a cliff" -- down to $8.8M. The school eventually had a 25% capacity at Royal Memorial Stadium. The football program had $33.6M in donations for '19, but that number slipped to $29.9M the following year. Texas "tightened their belts wherever they could," and the school was "able to save about $19 million without paying for travel and game costs" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 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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