Cal Athletics Expected to Receive $10 Million Annual Subsidy From UCLA

The UC Regents meet Tuesday to vote on the issue, stemming from the Bruin' exit to the Big Ten Conference
Pac-12 Conference
Pac-12 Conference /

The Cal athletic department could learn Tuesday if the University of California Board of Regents is prepared to instruct UCLA to subsidize the Bears to the tune of $10 million for each of the next six years.

The Regents are expected to vote on the issue, prompted by the Bruins’ decision two summers ago to depart for the Big Ten, which ultimately led to the collapse of the Pac-12 and Cal’s impending move to the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Jon Wilner of the Mercury News reported that, pending the vote, UCLA would be required to help their fellow UC system campus absorb the financial hit caused by the disparity of media rights revenue the two schools will receive in their new conference homes.

The contribution, as the Regents refer to it, is labeled by some as “Calimony,”

UCLA, along with USC, Oregon and Washington, will join the Big Ten, where they will receive a 100-percent share of TV money, expected to around $65 million, on average, for the remaining six years of the Big Ten’s deals with Fox, CBS and NBC.

Cal and Stanford will collect only a 30-percent share of the ACC’s media rights payout from ESPN over the next seven years, which figures to be in the neighborhood of $8 million to $10 million per year.

Late in 2022, after UCLA announced its exit plan but before the Pac-12 fully dissolved, the Regents met to address the anticipated disparity.

According to Wilner’s story. an executive summary posted on the Regents’ website leading to the May 14 meeting at UC Merced states:

“While universities and colleges are still in tumultuous times with an unsettled landscape in college athletics, there is some clarity on projected media rights revenues in the near term.

“It is anticipated that there will be an approximately $50 million difference between UCLA’s Big Ten contract and UC Berkeley’s agreement with the ACC.

“As a result, the President is proposing that UCLA contribute $10 million a year to UC Berkeley, the top end of the range established by the Regents in December 2022.”

In December 2022, the Regents approved a payment ranging from $2 to $10 million, but did not settle on a specific amount. Given the more dire financial challenge facing Cal athletics with the move to the ACC, the Regents will vote on providing the Bears with the maximum amount.

That will add up to $60 million, and will provide Cal a boost before its share of the ACC media rights revenue begins ramping up after seven years, finally reaching 100 percent after 10 years.

The Regents in their summary also referenced specifically how Cal’s should proceed:

“Beyond UCLA’s contribution, Cal Athletics will continue to work diligently to be fiscally responsible, priding itself on being able to achieve excellence on and off the playing fields while operating the Department in a cost-efficient manner.

“In addition, UC Berkeley is evaluating other solutions to address the financial gap. These include the development of new department revenue streams, additional philanthropic support, consolidating athletic scholarships to the campus Financial Aid and Scholarships Office, and an additional extraordinary payout from athletics related endowed funds.”

Jeff Faraudo


Jeff Faraudo was a sports writer for Bay Area daily newspapers since he was 17 years old, and was the Oakland Tribune's Cal beat writer for 24 years. He covered eight Final Fours, four NBA Finals and four Summer Olympics.