NCAA Revenue Drops 50 Percent in 2020

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The financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the NCAA is finally coming into view as a new audit reveals plummeting revenue for the association in 2020.

According to the NCAA’s new audited financial statement that was obtained by USA Today, the cancellation of last season’s Division I men’s basketball tournament resulted in a $600 million annual revenue for fiscal year 2020.

That’s a 50 percent decline compared to 2019.

The audit showed a $700 million revenue decline year over year, nearly all of which came from a loss of the NCAA’s multimedia and marketing right contract with CBS and Turner Broadcasting.

In 2020, the NCAA would have received $827 million from CBS and Turner, but received only $113 million after the cancellation of the tournament.

The NCAA received $270 million from event cancellation insurance, the statement said, and it has coverage for the 2021 basketball tournament.

Overall distribution to Division I member schools was adjusted accordingly — from $611 million in 2019 to $246 million in 2020.

"Given the NCAA’s strong financial resources, continued efforts to manage spending, and the loss-of-revenue insurance for fiscal year 20-21, management believes the Association is well positioned for current and future obligations,” the association said in a statement to USA Today.

The NCAA says that it has 2020 cancellation coverage similar to what it obtained for the 2019 season.

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