EA Sports had quite the hustle on the royalties from NCAA video games. According to multiple reports, the gaming company determined payments based on top 25 Associated Press polls over a 10-year period.
There's heavy information to consider in all of this, so check the Kotaku report that breaks everything down. But here's a clip that sums up the situation.
"As you will recall, the current royalty tiering structure is based on each institution's team performance over a rolling ten-year period," says the current proposal, circulated on CLC letterhead. "The greater the success, the higher the tier for the participating university. The football tiering variable is year-end ranking in the AP top 25."
Basically, if a team has been ranked consistently in the AP top 25 poll over the past 10 years, it gets the top payout level—which EA Sports says is a minimum of $78,000 each year through 2017. The second-tier teams get $47,000 a year; third tier get $31,000; last tier gets $7,500.
This is interesting because it hadn't been widely discussed on whether these payments were performance-based. Since they clearly are, that would suggest the players on teams that get more money definitely deserve a cut, especially with their images and likenesses being used. Notice that EA Sports has recently tried to abandon its relationship with college football, just to sort of clear the air.