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Equal pay in tennis for men and women?

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Equal pay in tennis for men and women? Empty Equal pay in tennis for men and women?

Post by LuvSports! Thu 06 Aug 2015, 3:49 pm

I am going to do an article on this (a lot more research required) but before I do I want your views.

1) The bo3 vs bo5 set argument. It's more down to scheduling now imo but as the men play bo5, should they get paid more? Atm it is the same and in some bo3 tournies women get more at the big events but less at the smaller ones. 

2) Market issue - Bums on seats, revenue, advertising, tv coverage. Now, the atp tour is more popular. If you split up slams, the fans would follow the men more than the women imo.

3) They get paid v well so I don't care really and I think it is good that there is a sport that gives women parity as despite male sports being a lot more popular, the disproportionate amount of money they earn is too stark imo.

Thoughts?

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Post by bogbrush Thu 06 Aug 2015, 4:13 pm

For me it's all about market value.

Look at this

http://www.wimbledondebentures.com/wimbledon/index.php?route=product/category&path=59&gclid=CKevkPTdlMcCFc7HtAodluAP8g

This is the market speaking; these are the prices sellers expect to be able to get for Centre Court tickets next year. Some interesting observations;

- Day 1 (when the Men are playing 1st round matches) is more expensive than Ladies Final day
- The Mens final is 3.8 times the price of the Ladies final
- The Mens semi are 4.2 times the price of the Ladies semis

These prices are not made up for any reason other than to maximise revenue and they reflect the simple fact that the show the Ladies put on is not much wanted by people, so much so that tickets for them sell at roughly an 75% discount to the Mens.

Given prize money is funded by people watching, it seems that on average 80% of the income is derived from the Mens event. Normal market practise would see them earning about 4 times the prize money of the women. Anything else is not on merit, it's for political reasons.
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Post by HM Murdock Thu 06 Aug 2015, 4:40 pm

Point 1 is the most common argument but I think it is the least valid. The WTA have made it known than they are willing to play bo5 but the ITF don't want them to. Mainly, as you said, for scheduling reasons.

Point 2 is the most compelling reason to me. The ATP clearly generates more interest and revenue than the WTA, so it seems incredibly unfair that they are paid the same.

I think there is a good argument that can be made in defence of the women though.

The fact they are not allowed to play bo5, means it is harder for there to be classic matches that allow rivalries and superstars to develop.

If the men played bo3, Federer, Nadal and Djokovic would have won fewer slams. They have all lost 2 of the first 3 sets in slams and gone on to win in 5.

Classic matches would not have been classic. In a bo3 format, Rafa would have won W08 in straight sets. AO12 would have been a straightforward 3 set win for Novak. Federer would not have a career slam under bo3.

So I think playing bo5 is a big advantage for the men. For the top players, the big money is not prize money but sponsorships and endorsement. Playing bo5 makes it easier to attract that.

Arguably it's more of an issue for the non-superstars for whom prize money is the big part of their income.

But then the counter argument to that is does, let's say, Bautista Agut generate more interest and revenue than Williams and Sharapova?

It's a knotty subject.

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Post by HM Murdock Thu 06 Aug 2015, 4:47 pm

Another point: there is some recognition of market value in the game.

The prize money for doubles and wheelchair is not as much as the singles prize money.

So 'equality' is not a genuine consideration.

But, as BB correctly says, the singles is a political issue.

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Post by hawkeye Thu 06 Aug 2015, 6:12 pm

bogbrush wrote:For me it's all about market value.


Well yes. Poor Djokovic must look at Sharapova's endorsement earnings with envy Bubbly

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Post by HM Murdock Thu 06 Aug 2015, 7:35 pm

hawkeye wrote:
bogbrush wrote:For me it's all about market value.


Well yes. Poor Djokovic must look at Sharapova's endorsement earnings with envy Bubbly
*sigh*

Sharapova endorsements:$23m
Djokovic endorsements: $31m

http://www.forbes.com/athletes/list/#tab:overall

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Post by LuvSports! Thu 06 Aug 2015, 8:03 pm

Djoko has actually surpassed Rafa in that department!

Good posts peeps.
I am looking to compare atp and wta tournaments that play at diffo times of the year at the same event. Not a like for like comparison as some have more ranking points, prize money etc than the other.
Really would like to find out during an event but obvs that is hard to day as it is a day session (with both wta and atp) and comparisons aren't the best.

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Post by kingraf Thu 06 Aug 2015, 8:20 pm

Well the women earn a smidgen more in Dubai. Must be the attraction of seeing more than ankle for a week of the year.
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Post by LuvSports! Thu 06 Aug 2015, 9:20 pm

Interestingly it got slightly more for the entire tournament but less for the winner.

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Post by hawkeye Thu 06 Aug 2015, 9:33 pm

This is the top ten tennis earner according to Forbes. It is dated 26th Aug 2014 so presumably there will be a new one soon. The figures for Djokovic and Sharapova don't quite tally with those indicated in the sport list posted above. I'm a little skeptical that Djokovic's endorsement income has jumped by over 20 million in a year.

But on topic it shows that the market value of female tennis players is high. The top ten players earned the following in endorsements according to this list. I haven't included prize money and the list is in order of total earnings.  Endorsements are a better indicator than winnings of marketability.

1. Federer. 45 million
2. Nadal. 25 million
3. Sharapova 22 million
4. Djokovic 9.5 million
5. Li Na 17 million
6. Serena 11 million
7. Wozniaki 11 million
8. Murray 7 million
9. Azarenka 3 million
10. Roddick 8 million

http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mli45jdmh/1-roger-federer-2/

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Post by LuvSports! Thu 06 Aug 2015, 10:05 pm

2015: 
http://www.forbes.com/athletes/list/#tab:overall_header:endorsements_sortreverse:true



#13Novak Djokovic$48.2 M$17.2 M$31 MTennis
Equal pay in tennis for men and women? Rafael-nadal_100x100#22Rafael Nadal$32.5 M$4.5 M$28 MTennis


Last edited by LuvSports! on Thu 06 Aug 2015, 10:09 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by temporary21 Thu 06 Aug 2015, 10:07 pm

Thats overall endorsement value though, thats not the market value they get for putting bums on seats in the tournament itself, which is what bb points out.

Hate to say it but bb may have a very good point, the men are the main attraction in all the gs's

For me its a simple as this. If you split or maybe staggered the mens and womens gs tournies would they both do equally as well? The mens game would still do well, I dont know about the womens tbh

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Post by temporary21 Thu 06 Aug 2015, 10:08 pm

The site didn't think much of your graphic it seems ls.

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Post by LuvSports! Thu 06 Aug 2015, 10:09 pm

Going for the record in editing posts. What is it temp?

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Post by temporary21 Thu 06 Aug 2015, 10:30 pm

You fixed it, the code for the text size was showing up but its fine now

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Post by LuvSports! Thu 06 Aug 2015, 11:15 pm

Nah as in what is the record no of edits?

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Post by JuliusHMarx Thu 06 Aug 2015, 11:37 pm

More than 2!

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Post by LuvSports! Thu 06 Aug 2015, 11:42 pm

Challenge accepted!

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Fri 07 Aug 2015, 2:06 am

I doubt the endorsement jump from 9.5 to 31m in one year for Novak. Also why 17.2 M for Novak in tennis? Unless they add in appearance fees or exhos, which means Rafa is not getting only 4.5M in tennis. His appearance fees at Rio, Doha and Barcelona, Beijing and Basel would add up to quite a bit.

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Post by summerblues Fri 07 Aug 2015, 2:23 am

Belovedluckyboy wrote:Also why 17.2 M for Novak in tennis? Unless they add in appearance fees or exhos, which means Rafa is not getting only 4.5M in tennis.  His appearance fees at Rio, Doha and Barcelona, Beijing and Basel would add up to quite a bit.
Why?  Those numbers look plausible.  I would expect them to be just for their ATP/slam activity, and exhos etc would probably count as endorsements.  I do not have actual numbers, but let's say the list covers the most recent 12 months (say mid-2014 to mid-2015):

In 2014, Djokovic's winnings were $14.3M (per Wikipedia as well as ATP site).  But his first half of 2015 has been better than first half of 2014, so it is not impossible that the most recent 12 months will add up to 17.2M.

Similarly, in 2014 Rafa made somewhere between $6.0M (Wikipedia) and $6.7M (ATP site) in winnings.  However, his first half of 2014 was significantly better than first half of 2015, so the total for the last 12 months of about $4.5M looks plausible.

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Post by kingraf Fri 07 Aug 2015, 6:23 am

the important thing to realise is that these tennis players are peasants. Imagine Ronaldo earning $45 million a year? He'd bloody well swerve off the road and die at the thought.
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Post by Belovedluckyboy Fri 07 Aug 2015, 7:37 am

Nah, the difference wont be $3 mil as the difference would be AO and MC only.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Fri 07 Aug 2015, 7:59 am

Tennis players the likes of Fedal, Novak, Sharapova are not peasants. They earn plenty of endorsement monies, not to mention exhos, appearance fees.

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Post by bogbrush Fri 07 Aug 2015, 8:29 am

HM Murdoch wrote:Another point: there is some recognition of market value in the game.

The prize money for doubles and wheelchair is not as much as the singles prize money.

So 'equality' is not a genuine consideration.

But, as BB correctly says, the singles is a political issue.
Exactly, I've made the point about wheelchair tennis before. If everyone is equally valid and the market isn't a factor then there's no reasons that the wheelchair events shouldn't get equal; prize money. It's discrimination, pure and simple.
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Post by bogbrush Fri 07 Aug 2015, 8:49 am

Who cares about the endorsements? That's completely off the point.

Endorsement income is just about how much they as an individual affect consumer perception of products. In the case of the women that's mostly about how hot they are.

Edit: I left a question mark at the end of the "Endorsement income.... sentence" which made me look like I was making a statement as a question, as if in that awful way lame people speak with the raised intonation at the end. As I detest that habit there's no way I could give the impression!


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Post by CAS Fri 07 Aug 2015, 9:31 am

While I agree the scheduling makes it hard for women to play b05 but if you think Azarenka got paid the same as Novak at Aus '12 to beat Radwanska 6-7 6-0 6-2  and then 6-3 6-0 against Maria as he did to beat Murray 6-3 3-6 6-7 6-1 7-5 in 5 hours then Rafa 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7 7-5 in 6 hours I think you could forgive the guys if they ever feel hard done by at times.

That being said I don't think it's at the topof the game it matters, the top players in men and women make so much anyway it's not a big deal it's the lower levels where it should be an issue. 100 ranked man vs 100 ranked women where prize money means so much more

Like Murdoch said, the best of 5 allows the men more chance of surviving thus making more money, however it's the lower level you need to look at. The Number 100 in the world in the women's has a better shot of making a run than the top 100 man does in that format as more upsets are likely

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Post by bogbrush Fri 07 Aug 2015, 10:01 am

temporary21 wrote:Thats overall endorsement value though, thats not the market value they get for putting bums on seats in the tournament itself, which is what bb points out.

Hate to say it but bb may have a very good point, the men are the main attraction in all the gs's

For me its a simple as this. If you split or maybe staggered the mens and womens gs tournies would they both do equally as well? The mens game would still do well, I dont know about the womens tbh
Learn to love it, it's the path to wisdom! Smile
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Post by Born Slippy Fri 07 Aug 2015, 10:19 am

I never get the equal pay argument in tennis. The only true equality would be if men and women competed together and stuck all the prize money in one pot. However, that isn't wanted because, when it comes to sport, men do have a physical advantage.

Consequently, there is no valid "equality" reason for equal prize money. It would be the same as a conference division footballer arguing he should get paid the same as Ronaldo because he worked as hard. The real question is the interest/revenue generated and, as indicated above, there does seem to be more interest in the mens tour who should therefore be entitled to more.

That said, clearly for political reasons there is no going back. I just found some of the arguments for equal pay at the time very self-serving. The bo5 point is a prime example - I'm not aware of any of the female players campaigning that it is sexist that the men have longer matches when, arguably, it is.

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Post by Born Slippy Fri 07 Aug 2015, 10:24 am

hawkeye wrote:
bogbrush wrote:For me it's all about market value.


Well yes. Poor Djokovic must look at Sharapova's endorsement earnings with envy Bubbly

Do you not think its actually a damning endictment on society that Sharapova earns considerably more than other, better tennis players (Serena for example)? Is it really a good thing for women that so much of even a top sportswoman's earning power is based on looks?

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Post by HM Murdock Fri 07 Aug 2015, 10:26 am

bogbrush wrote:Edit: I left a question mark at the end of the "Endorsement income.... sentence" which made me look like I was making a statement as a question, as if in that awful way lame people speak with the raised intonation at the end. As I detest that habit there's no way I could give the impression!
That you felt the need to make such an edit moves you up a further notch in my estimation.

That rising inflection is indeed horrible, especially when accompanied by its equally ugly sibling, the use of "I was like" in place of "I said".

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Post by break_in_the_fifth Fri 07 Aug 2015, 11:59 am

Equality of opportunity conflated with equality of outcomes... Women are given a platform on which to play their amazing tennis and wow the crowds just as much as men are and do, but they don't (I don't think anyone will argue that the WTA is more popular than the ATP). We, as a society, are forced to begin at the premise that their matches are equally as entertaining as men's as the outcome, regardless of what actually transpired (their overall less entertaining matches than men) and based on this false premise are led to the conclusion that it is only fair to pay them equally. Anything other than accepting the outcome that is fed to us despite blatant evidence to the contrary is labelled as sexism.

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Post by LuvSports! Fri 07 Aug 2015, 1:21 pm

In certain countries (like the states), this "golden era" hasn't had the biggest impact.

If Serena is in a final it will always trump the men bar if a male yank player reaches it.

CIlic nishi hit a tv audience low of some time.

"Roger Federer’s most recent U.S. Open victory drew a 1.7 rating in 2008. Rafael Nadal’s wins in 2010 and 2013 drew ratings of 1.8 and 2.4, respectively. Novak Djokovic could only muster a 2.3 for his 2011 victory, and Andy Murray’s first title a year later scored a 2.4. Overall, the last seven U.S. Open men’s finals — all on Monday afternoons — rank as the seven lowest rated ever."


Not a golden era?

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Post by kingraf Fri 07 Aug 2015, 2:02 pm

I've said this before, but I don't mind repeating it. 10-15 years ago, when the equal pay argument first caught traction, the women's game was simply more attractive. It had an American sibling rivalry, and a deluge of women who's only prerequisite for being drop dead gorgeous was to have the suffix "-ova" at the end of their names. By contrast the men's game was in essence bankrupt. You couldn't hope to argue against equal pay.

The status quo might have changed, but given the fact that tennis seems to have a larger female fan base than most sports, I'd say deciding to give the men an extra £250k would probably not be a PR coup.
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Post by LuvSports! Fri 07 Aug 2015, 2:45 pm

Point well made!

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Post by hawkeye Fri 07 Aug 2015, 6:12 pm

I remember reading about the history of women's football. During the early 1900's women's football was growing in popularity and beginning to rival men's football as a spectator sport. The women played on grounds owned by the FA. After a particularly well attended match with over 50,000 spectators the FA banned women from using their grounds. Having suitable venues pulled from under their feet so abruptly stopped the growth of women's football in it's tracks.

The FA acted as if women were rivals and not part of the same association. Shame some here feel the same way about women's tennis.

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Post by erictheblueuk Fri 07 Aug 2015, 6:44 pm

I remember this issue coming up when Anna Kournikova was one of the highest paid female sportswomen in the world, despite never winning a WTA singles event.


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Post by temporary21 Fri 07 Aug 2015, 7:11 pm

They don't rival each other though. In the slams they share the same audience and time slots on TV. Not everything has to do with sexism, it just doesn't seem to make sense for any reason other than gesture. Get the women playing 5 sets and the business end and we're talking

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Post by socal1976 Fri 07 Aug 2015, 11:49 pm

I hate to say this as an avowed leftist and open myself up to charges of misogyny. But there is a real problem of political correctness involved in this whole pay women the same issue in tennis. The fact is that bad public relations and threat of bogus lawsuits for discrimination there is no reason to pay the women equal to the men. And here I agree with BB completely, the men are the draw. I mean how many women's tennis threads are stared on this or any of the other websites. When I go to Indian wells when the women match starts half the crowd either goes to the outside courts (talking early rounds) or goes to the bar. (I try to do both) The fact is that the men generate most of the revenue at the slams and mixed events but can't be paid more because of a hypersensitive sense of entitlement by many mainly western women in Europe and North America. You are not guaranteed by life an equality of outcome for a product that the market values less because you happen to be a girl. If the women generated most of the buzz and draw I would support them being paid more than the men so my views as BBs, Murdoch, and others is really gender neutral. The argument that women should be paid the same is really the argument that plays to gender discrimination and PC thinking run wild. And I am leftwing democrat and frequent Guardian reader.

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Post by socal1976 Fri 07 Aug 2015, 11:57 pm

temporary21 wrote:They don't rival each other though. In the slams they share the same audience and time slots on TV.  Not everything has to do with sexism, it just doesn't seem to make sense for any reason other than gesture. Get the women playing 5 sets and the business end and we're talking

If I had to watch my entire coverage window on my DVR filled with 5 set Venus, Serena, and Sloane coverage in the states because no good men come from America I think I would kill myself by downing a jar filled with broken glass laced in a quart of LSD. That experience would still be more pleasurable than watching a 5 set Serena match at a slam while I furiously push my fast forward button and curse the remote and ask "Can't you fast forward any quicker." The last thing I want is a full calendar of 5 set women's matches, and I bet a poll of most tennis fans would probably agree. Now if I could change their slam schedule to one set with no ad scoring I might pay more for that then my yearly alcohol bill.  Very few people like women's tennis, much less then the ATP that is for sure, so in a just world they shouldn't be able to blackmail their way to undeserved equal money. And by the way this really hurts the mid level players on tour as literally people like Serena and Maria are taking money right out of the pocket of the guys in the ATP ranked like 40-100.

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Post by summerblues Sat 08 Aug 2015, 1:03 am

If men and women were competing together in the same draw and under same conditions, and the tournament policy said that the winner gets two million if a man and one million if a woman, then that would be discrimination.

As it is, there is no substantive reason to pay them the same.  And of course it has nothing to do with the number of sets they play.  Whoever happens to be the bigger draw should get paid more - no matter if it is the men or the women.

If one is inclined to look for discrimination, the more valid question is whether it is ok to have separate draws.  Maybe men's tournaments should be forced to open to women, and vice versa.

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Post by socal1976 Sat 08 Aug 2015, 1:46 am

summerblues wrote:If men and women were competing together in the same draw and under same conditions, and the tournament policy said that the winner gets two million if a man and one million if a woman, then that would be discrimination.

As it is, there is no substantive reason to pay them the same.  And of course it has nothing to do with the number of sets they play.  Whoever happens to be the bigger draw should get paid more - no matter if it is the men or the women.

If one is inclined to look for discrimination, the more valid question is whether it is ok to have separate draws.  Maybe men's tournaments should be forced to open to women, and vice versa.

Why? everyone knows that a below average challenger player on the men's tour could beat Serena? The whole battle of the sexes thing is silly when it comes to a physical sport like tennis. And that is not saying that women's sports can't be entertaining, presently they are significantly less entertaining than the men's game.

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Post by LuvSports! Sat 08 Aug 2015, 11:26 pm

LF? HN? other female posters, what are your thoughts?

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Post by lags72 Sun 09 Aug 2015, 10:13 am

summerblues wrote:If men and women were competing together in the same draw and under same conditions, and the tournament policy said that the winner gets two million if a man and one million if a woman, then that would be discrimination.

As it is, there is no substantive reason to pay them the same.  And of course it has nothing to do with the number of sets they play.  Whoever happens to be the bigger draw should get paid more - no matter if it is the men or the women.

If one is inclined to look for discrimination, the more valid question is whether it is ok to have separate draws.  Maybe men's tournaments should be forced to open to women, and vice versa.

I'm in agreement with all that you say here.

I guess we have to give credit to the women for somehow turning the discrimination argument to their advantage in tennis, when all logic says that they patently don't deserve the same rewards.

They really have pulled off an amazing con trick when you stop to think about it : I don't believe (?) there is any other high-paying sport where such flawed arguments for equal pay have been used to bring about a similar outcome. In all other big spectator sports (notably soccer, golf et al...) the normal principles as highlighted by summerblues still apply, with the biggest money going to the men - simply because they continue to draw the biggest crowds/audiences.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Sun 09 Aug 2015, 10:46 am

@ lags:clap: spot on cant disagree with a word of that

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Post by lags72 Sun 09 Aug 2015, 12:26 pm

Well thanks H-n, all compliments gratefully received !

Although, in fairness, I'd say summerblues is the one who set out the argument in such convincing fashion. Or - to coin an adjective much loved by several long-gone (comedic) posters from the old 606 - "irrefutable"

Cool

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Post by djlovesyou Sun 09 Aug 2015, 12:32 pm

It's a pointless argument. Tennis tours and the individual tournaments are run as businesses, and they see fit to have the prize structure as it is now (for their own reasons).

The men's game is more popular, but that's a lot down to a very small number of players.

Would it be fair to half the prize-money for the men's winner if, for example, Simon and Isner made a GS final?

Because, given a lot of the reasoning, they don't deserve as much because they don't bring as many people in to watch as Federer or Nadal.

Maybe the British wildcards at Wimbledon should receive much more for losing in the first round than a Latvian qualifier, because their courts always seem to be packed.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Sun 09 Aug 2015, 1:03 pm

It's a pointless argument

if you are going to use that as a yardstick for debate then 606v2 might as well close its doors.. most of the subjects raised attract inconclusive and differing opinions ... but then is that not the point of the forum.Wink

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Post by AlciG Mon 10 Aug 2015, 12:45 pm

Prize money on the mens side should be something like:

Federer/Nadal: 100% of the round they make
Djokovic: 95%
Murray: 90%
Wawrinka/Nishikori/Monfils: 70%
Kyrgios/Tsonga/Berdich: 50%
A few selected others maybe: 30%
The rest: 15% for being there... they don't really attract any audience

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Post by Haddie-nuff Mon 10 Aug 2015, 12:52 pm

10% goes to the ball boys/girls for sweaty towel handling !!!

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Post by LuvSports! Tue 11 Aug 2015, 11:13 pm

I don't think it is a pointless argument DJ, else I wouldn't have started the thread!

Demand is higher, ticket prices are higher and on the whole viewing figures are too.

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