Two views of gender pay differences



Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Messages
213
Likes
173
While these two views analyze soccer I think they are relevant for basketball.


 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
8,067
Likes
6,765
It seems that the Women's Soccer Team should also sue FIBA and perhaps make it a Class Action Suit with multiple Countries Participating in it. Women's Soccer needs to have more resources from FIBA to improve Women's Soccer World Wide.
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2017
Messages
214
Likes
179
Why don't people realize that sports is a business first? If you want higher pay, bring in more money. It is really that simple.

Women will never bring in as much money as men in sports, because compared to the men's game, the quality of play is not even close.

Just look at NBA & WNBA ticket prices. You can go to a lot of WNBA games for almost nothing. Why the WNBA plays games in the middle of the day on a weekday is beyond me. Most people who would actually pay for a ticket or watch on TV have a job during the day.
 

meyers7

Smarty Pants
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
19,773
Likes
20,672
It seems that the Women's Soccer Team should also sue FIBA and perhaps make it a Class Action Suit with multiple Countries Participating in it. Women's Soccer needs to have more resources from FIBA to improve Women's Soccer World Wide.
I think you mean FIFA. FIBA is for basketball.
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Messages
213
Likes
173
I am a committed fan of women's Athletics particularly basketball, soccer, and volleyball. I wish the audience for these sports was much larger as sports fans who do not watch women's Athletics are missing truly gifted athletes performing at a very high level. That said as a retired teacher of economics I continue to be frustrated by discussions of pay equality both within women's Athletics and in the broader world. Without getting into the details and weeds of neoclassical theory wage rates have to be related in some way to productivity and output. I found the following information below at Wikipedia related to men's soccer specifically the Premier League. Sports is really a subcategory of entertainment so that renurmeration to the participants is directly related to both audience size and willingness of audience to pay. Until those two things change it's going to be an uphill climb for women's professional athletes to see a significant increase in their enumeration. I'm hopeful that over time audience size will grow. Since this thread deals with gender pay differences with a focus on soccer I've included a link below that illustrates why male soccer players will continue to earn more than female soccer players. The same is true in basketball. if one looks at the NBA television contracts across all channels and compares that to the television contract of the WNBA it's clear why women professional basketball players earn substantially less than men now.

From wikipeda


Premier League on 20 February 1992 following the decision of clubs in the Football League First Division to break away from the Football League, founded in 1888, and take advantage of a lucrative television rights deal.[2] The deal was worth £1 billion a year domestically as of 2013–14, with Sky and BT Group securing the domestic rights to broadcast 116 and 38 games respectively.[3]The league generates €2.2 billion per year in domestic and international television rights.[4]Clubs were apportioned central payment revenues of £2.4 billion in 2016–17, with a further £343 million in solidarity payments to English Football League (EFL) clubs.[5]

The Premier League is the most-watched sports league in the world, broadcast in 212 territories to 643 million homes and a potential TV audience of 4.7 billion people.[6][7] In
 

TheFarmFan

Stanford Fan, Huskies Admirer
Joined
Nov 28, 2018
Messages
453
Likes
1,534
if one looks at the NBA television contracts across all channels and compares that to the television contract of the WNBA it's clear why women professional basketball players earn substantially less than men now.
I don't think you'll find a WNBA player anywhere who's arguing they should get equal pay to Lebron. But the argument for the USWNT is more complicated because they generate more gate revenue than the men's team, generate better TV ratings, bring in more jersey and merchandizing revenues, and generate way, way more prominence, media attention, influence, etc. It's one thing to say FIBA Men >> FIBA Women, but their suit is against the US National Soccer authorities precisely because the US team is paying them less for playing for the US team, even though by basically every relevant metric, the USWNT generates more money than the USNMT in the US.
 

meyers7

Smarty Pants
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
19,773
Likes
20,672
I don't think you'll find a WNBA player anywhere who's arguing they should get equal pay to Lebron. But the argument for the USWNT is more complicated because they generate more gate revenue than the men's team, generate better TV ratings, bring in more jersey and merchandizing revenues, and generate way, way more prominence, media attention, influence, etc. It's one thing to say FIBA Men >> FIBA Women, but their suit is against the US National Soccer authorities precisely because the US team is paying them less for playing for the US team, even though by basically every relevant metric, the USWNT generates more money than the USNMT in the US.
That is just not true. For a WWC year vs MNT off-year (such as the year after MWC), yes the women will/might bring in a bit more than the men. They play many, many more games and get the WC bonus money. However, in a 4 year cycle which will include WWC for the women and MWC for the men, the MNT will bring in almost double what the WNT will.

Just a for instance, in 2018 the WNT avg attendence was 14,064. The MNT avg attendence was 36, 321.
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Messages
7,680
Likes
12,914
That is just not true. For a WWC year vs MNT off-year (such as the year after MWC), yes the women will/might bring in a bit more than the men. They play many, many more games and get the WC bonus money. However, in a 4 year cycle which will include WWC for the women and MWC for the men, the MNT will bring in almost double what the WNT will.

Just a for instance, in 2018 the WNT avg attendence was 14,064. The MNT avg attendence was 36, 321.
Maybe more fans are going to the MNT to see their opponents. :rolleyes:
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Messages
213
Likes
173
I think a broader perspective of audience explains both the US women's national soccer team pay as well as overall women soccer pay. In-person attendance while significant is not the most important measure of audience. It is the television contracts. Most sports fans view sports through television or stream not in person. Therefore one has to look at ratings and number of channels of distribution of the sport. By this measure men's soccer and men's basketball dwarf women's sports. The link I provided to broadcast indicates the number of games broadcast, the markets in which those broadcast occur and the frequency with which they occur. Until media companies take women's Athletics - soccer or basketball to television or streaming the differential in audience will be such that women cannot generate enough revenue to increase their pay significantly.

One strategy I've pondered although I'm not sure how successful it would be would be for women's soccer or women's basketball to approach their male counterparts and indicate they would like to do a package deal with TV or media. Now while the allocation of time to women's might still remain low woman's officials might negotiate with men to say let's split the revenue from television contracts 60/40. Or 70/30. Those kind of agreements would allow for tremendous levels of revenue to flow into the women's game. That would be an artificial way to increase women's salaries and allow the viewers the opportunity to see more women's Athletics. If ratings increased then there would be a foundation moving forward to increase the scope of women's Athletics. The problem is that those games that are televise or livestream have very very low ratings. Media companies are in the business of making a profit and at this point in time it's simply not a profitable endeavor to televise or stream most women's Athletics. A previous poster said the four-year exhilarating ride of the women's national team does not represent the typical landscape for women's soccer or basketball in terms of audience. Unfortunately this is correct.
 

TheFarmFan

Stanford Fan, Huskies Admirer
Joined
Nov 28, 2018
Messages
453
Likes
1,534
A previous poster said the four-year exhilarating ride of the women's national team does not represent the typical landscape for women's soccer or basketball in terms of audience. Unfortunately this is correct.
Again, you're abstracting away to obscure what is relevant to the USWNT's claims. If you think market dominance is what should matter in allocating pay to players (and not equality or other more normative goals), then the only thing that should matter with regards to the USWNT is how much revenue USWNT and USMNT bring in to the US Soccer Federation, and looking at the financials, they are quite close over any 4-year cycle, because the women generate so much more than the men during their respective World Cup years. It doesn't matter how much the FIBA Men's vs. Women's World Cups generate in general, or how much the MLS vs. NWSL generates in revenue in general, or any other aspect of global soccer/football, because none of that affects how much revenue the USSF generates from the USWNT and USMNT, and therefore how they can justify USSF paying significantly higher salaries to the men than the women. Indeed, USSF sells their rights to broadcast USWNT and USMNT games together, so they can't actually say which team is generating more revenue, but we know from ratings that the women's team pulls higher rating in the U.S., so if anything, you'd think the women's team should be generating 50%> of the revenue from those broadcast deals.
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Messages
213
Likes
173
I think you are on point in your first comment about my effort to understand the market. Artificial efforts to set price that is price controls such as rent control, minimum wage, subsidies lead to fairly predictable consequences in quality and quantity and are rarely sustainable. So yes I am trying to take my understanding of how markets work to understand pay differentials between the genders. To the extent that sustainable prices arise from markets which have supportive institutions such as the rule of law, contract enforcement, and voluntary exchange one can see what will happen to price and quantityin these markets. So if you want to characterize this as a abstraction I do believe I could agree with you. Where I would take issue is that I'm trying not to obscure but to understand for myself and communicate why there are pay differentials. I would guess that we could sit down and both agree that there are pay differentials an men and women's Athletics specifically soccer and basketball. I think where are you and I and most non economist might differ would be how we understand those pay differentials. I would never personally advocate for any intervention in the market. I was merely observing that were arrangements made to expand the audience for women's soccer and basketball there would be a predictable increase and wages in those sports. So really there are two options that I can see for women's soccer and basketball salaries to increase. 1.- hope that audiences increase. 2. -The other is to try to make some sort of arrangement with the preferred Market that is men's basketball and soccer to share or subsidized women's Athletics. Make no mistake I don't view this as a pejorative I'm merely using my background and training to understand and communicate Whitey's differentials exist. And understanding of those reasons can help evaluate the success or probable failure of other alternatives.
 

meyers7

Smarty Pants
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
19,773
Likes
20,672
they are quite close over any 4-year cycle, because the women generate so much more than the men during their respective World Cup years.
Again not true.

but we know from ratings that the women's team pulls higher rating in the U.S.,
Where are you getting that? That is not true either. For example:

WNT 2017 viewership avg was 378,125
MNT 2017 viewership avg was 819,842

I'm certainly not against the WNT getting paid more. At the very least there should be equality in match fields, training facilities, travel, and accommodations. But let's not make up stuff to try to justify.
 

TheFarmFan

Stanford Fan, Huskies Admirer
Joined
Nov 28, 2018
Messages
453
Likes
1,534
I think you are on point in your first comment about my effort to understand the market. Artificial efforts to set price that is price controls such as rent control, minimum wage, subsidies lead to fairly predictable consequences in quality and quantity and are rarely sustainable. So yes I am trying to take my understanding of how markets work to understand pay differentials between the genders. To the extent that sustainable prices arise from markets which have supportive institutions such as the rule of law, contract enforcement, and voluntary exchange one can see what will happen to price and quantityin these markets. So if you want to characterize this as a abstraction I do believe I could agree with you. Where I would take issue is that I'm trying not to obscure but to understand for myself and communicate why there are pay differentials. I would guess that we could sit down and both agree that there are pay differentials an men and women's Athletics specifically soccer and basketball. I think where are you and I and most non economist might differ would be how we understand those pay differentials. I would never personally advocate for any intervention in the market. I was merely observing that were arrangements made to expand the audience for women's soccer and basketball there would be a predictable increase and wages in those sports. So really there are two options that I can see for women's soccer and basketball salaries to increase. 1.- hope that audiences increase. 2. -The other is to try to make some sort of arrangement with the preferred Market that is men's basketball and soccer to share or subsidized women's Athletics. Make no mistake I don't view this as a pejorative I'm merely using my background and training to understand and communicate Whitey's differentials exist. And understanding of those reasons can help evaluate the success or probable failure of other alternatives.
It may also just be the case we're talking about two separate but related issues: you're talking about all of women's soccer and basketball in general, and I'm talking specifically about the USWNT. Because both stories you linked at the start of the thread were specifically about the USWNT, I took the claim to be that their arguments for equal pay should fail because in general, arguments for equal pay for women in soccer and basketball should fail. And my only point is, whether or not that's true, in the case of the USWNT, you can draw a direct line from the USWNT to revenue generated by the USSF to show why, whatever else is true for other women's soccer and basketball leagues, the USWNT have a market-based claim to equal pay. I make no claim further than that, but I find it frustrating that their claim keeps exploding into a generalized argument about equal pay for women in sports, because that's not the basis of their lawsuit.

And in this sense, there is an analog to equal pay debates in tennis, because at the time that the majors started equalizing pay, the men were in the pre-Big-3/4 era (I bet less than .1% of America knows that "Gaston Gaudio" won a grand slam) and the women were in the peak drama era of Williams x2, Clijsters, Henin, Capriati, Hingis, Davenport, etc., and during that era, the women's matches were often outdrawing the mens in ratings. The reverse has been true for the past decade, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were some reversion once Fed et al. leave the stage, as the state of the men's game below the top 4 is really dire.
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2018
Messages
15
Likes
42
There are certainly a lot of variables here, no doubt, that makes this far more complex and there really is no "right" answer. It's easy to make arguments on both sides, as we've done. In my mind, I try to keep it really simple and think about a job - pick any job - plumber, consultant, developer - and think about a man and a woman in that same job, at the same company. The idea is that, if you have two people doing the same work from the same company - theoretically they should be paid equally (all other things being equal). I see the soccer players in that same light - they are doing the same job for the same company. Their job is not to create revenue - their job is to train, play soccer, and (hopefully) win soccer games.

So let's say we have two Senior Developers (man/woman) in the same company. The woman works for the business unit that produces about half the revenue of the other business unit. Based on the market and other factors, it's just the way it is and maybe the way it will always be, relatively. The woman writes more code, with fewer defects. Based on the job, she's performing better. Her group doesn't make as much money for the company, but at the very least she should be paid the same as the man based on her performance (again, all else equal). This is sort of what it boils down to for me. Now the CBAs certainly make it more complicated because they are structured differently, but the net should be at least the same (if not more based on performance) when all is said and done.

Also, not sure who it was that said the quality of play isn't even close, but that's just some misogynistic BS. Even people who play sports professionally, whether basketball or soccer, wouldn't say that (and many have said quite the opposite).
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Messages
213
Likes
173
Great points. The first about the specific case of world cup women soccer and world cup men soccer which is a highly specialized specific market.

it is important to remember that all Athletics including women's soccer and basketball are in the entertainment business. Rather than being a plumber or a software developer or a lawyer these athletes are in the entertainment business. The service that they are generating and providing is entertainment as we all know. Those of us discussing this issue on the board derive a great deal of entertainment from watching these elite women athletes play. Point is their pay is based upon the demand for that entertainment that is the people who desire to watch this entertainment. In-person tickets are a small part of that relevent stream of income, the vast majority of revenue generated is from television and streaming. So while men and women athletes are performing very similar functions although I would argue that the women's game in basketball is different than the men's game and in my view more interesting, ultimately their numeration is based on the number of eyeballs that are interested in watching this entertainment.

Perhaps this example might illustrate the point I've been struggling to make. Taylor Swift is a wonderful singer. The Phoenix orchestra is a wonderful set of musicians. Taylor Swift earns 100 times what the individual members of the Phoenix orchestra earn. They both play music but their income is based upon the demand for their entertainment. There's no discrimination here there's simply reflection of the relative values assigned to their music by the participants in our society. The voluntary exchange of income for this entertainment reveals both the comparative demands and valuation. it's much the same when comparing the performance of professional athletes across sports and gender. There are just more fans interested in watching one of the games rather than the other and this translates into huge television contracts by ESPN, Fox, TNT, and other networks.

It is this mechanism of voluntary exchange to determine not only wage rates but the payments to the other factors of production that allows for sustainable markets. In the cases of both soccer and basketball the men's game continues to grow and be sustainable because this link exists with minimal interference. The woman's game can potentially follow the sustainable path if the link between entertainment dollars wonkishly called marginal revenue product and their wages is left intact. Interference with this mechanism of voluntary exchange prevents a market from being sustainable.

Again the key to increased wages is increased demand for the women's sport through the medium of television and livestream where the vast majority of revenue lies.

Great discussion of this issue, the implications stretch beyond sports.
 
Last edited:

DefenseBB

Snark is always appreciated!
Joined
Nov 10, 2016
Messages
3,262
Likes
4,887
I don't think you'll find a WNBA player anywhere who's arguing they should get equal pay to Lebron. But the argument for the USWNT is more complicated because they generate more gate revenue than the men's team, generate better TV ratings, bring in more jersey and merchandizing revenues, and generate way, way more prominence, media attention, influence, etc. It's one thing to say FIBA Men >> FIBA Women, but their suit is against the US National Soccer authorities precisely because the US team is paying them less for playing for the US team, even though by basically every relevant metric, the USWNT generates more money than the USNMT in the US.
Whoa there Fam. You had me right up to the very last sentence. No one knows the “more money aspect” for the two teams as the corporate sponsorship money has not been made public by the federation. Gate revenue and viewership have and while it’s close, the women have the edge. They definitely should be paid more than they are. I am not sure though they pull in the same sponsorship money as the men.
FIFA does deserve some criticism for their lack of leadership and development commitment especially considering that was their stance on why it selected non soccer countries to host the Men’s tournament (alright, we all know the real reason was bribes but Sepp could not say that) so at least expand the field to 32 teams, partner with the host country to promote the event and feed money into some countries to develop.
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Messages
213
Likes
173
I've invested perhaps to much time trying to find some sort of data describing audience size on TV and streaming for men and women's soccer. One would think it would not be that difficult. I found some data I'm not sure how reliable about the size of the audience for the women's world cup in 2019. That estimate was over 1 billion viewers. Despite searching the closest comparable data I could find for men was the 2015 world cup which estimated 2.5 billion viewers for the men's game. This is merely a rough estimate because there has considerably more soccer going on around the world between the world cups every 4 years. That said the article below does suggest that momentum is building regarding women's soccer which down the road will be reflected in wages and salary. Unfortunately this audience expansion does not appear to be happening in women's basketball.


"With this tournament setting ratings records — even ahead of the July 7 final in Paris — the 2019 World Cup appears to be marking the moment when the women's game has stopped being treated as an adjunct to the men’s event and is embraced as a premier showcase on its own.

Massive television and digital audiences have tuned in to watch the first three weeks of live coverage, prompting organizer FIFA to forecast a total global audience of 1 billion viewers across all platforms by the time the final whistle blows on Sunday "
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2014
Messages
8,406
Likes
10,795
Today Proctor & Gamble, a USWNT sponsor, announced they are giving $529,000 cash directly to the USWNT players - $23,000 each - to help offset the gender pay differential. They also took out a full page ad in The NY Times this morning urging the US Soccer Federation to “be on the right side of history.”

 
Last edited:

meyers7

Smarty Pants
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
19,773
Likes
20,672
Also, not sure who it was that said the quality of play isn't even close, but that's just some misogynistic BS. Even people who play sports professionally, whether basketball or soccer, wouldn't say that (and many have said quite the opposite).
What do you mean by "quality of play"?
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2018
Messages
15
Likes
42
What do you mean by "quality of play"?
Someone else said it, so I'm not sure what they meant. It was VAConnFan11 but I can't figure out how to quote two thing in a reply.
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Messages
213
Likes
173

This article is well worth a read to understand revenue sources for professional sports. The NFL and Premier league both dominate. Scrolling down in the article the discussion of the NBA TV deal provides insight into the pay differentials between athletes performing in that league and the WNBA. I was unable to locate the article which I recall said ESPN was allocating 30 million dollars from its NBA deal to the WNBA to televise games. This compares to the 2.6 billion dollar deal media outlets hold with the NBA. There are number of considerations if one wanted to get into the weeds here. The number of teams and media markets in the NBA compared to the WNBA, the length of the schedule played by players in the respective leagues, but more importantly the non-ticketed audience for these two leagues. The article above provide some information on revenue received by the TV and media stations for 30 second commercials. The payment by these media sources for this commercial time represents both there analytics and best guess as to the number of eye balls watching. WNBA commercials are insignificant that is the major media iare unwilling to pay much of anything above zero as witnessed by the deal that the WNBA receives from the NBA and ESPN.
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2017
Messages
214
Likes
179
"Quality of Play" is exactly that. For a majority of people that pay to see a sporting event, they want to see the highest level of that sport. People pay to see NBA, not WNBA. The WNBA gives away tickets and people still don't go. I've tried to watch WNBA games on TV and it is not exciting at all to me. I can't last more than 4 or 5 minutes.

People will pay a lot to see an NFL game, but not an AFL game. Why not? It's still football. The same is true for all of the other football leagues that have tried to start. The same is true with baseball. People want to see the best teams at that particular sport whether it's compared to lesser leagues or different genders.

It's sad that this is the way it is, but it is, the way it is and probably will always be.
 

TheFarmFan

Stanford Fan, Huskies Admirer
Joined
Nov 28, 2018
Messages
453
Likes
1,534
"Quality of Play" is exactly that. For a majority of people that pay to see a sporting event, they want to see the highest level of that sport. People pay to see NBA, not WNBA. The WNBA gives away tickets and people still don't go. I've tried to watch WNBA games on TV and it is not exciting at all to me. I can't last more than 4 or 5 minutes.
So then here's the (apparently thirty) million dollar question: why are so many more folks fans of women's college basketball, which is, strictly speaking, an "inferior" product to the WNBA? The claim that the WNBA is not as high a level of sport as the NBA make sense, but the WNBA is higher than college basketball, so why are most of us much bigger WCBB fans than WNBA fans?

I ask this not rhetorically because I don't know - I really love WCBB, and I've never, ever, been able to get into the WNBA apart from casual checking of scores and highlights. In fact, I don't think I've ever even watched a full game start to finish. I'm really not sure why, but I suspect in my case it has something to do with my attachment to collegiate athletics and rooting for my alma mater. Maybe others have different reasons or intuitions for why we're all here and not on some WNBA forum? Answering that question would seem to go a long way toward helping the WNBA figure out how to reach potential fans.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2014
Messages
8,406
Likes
10,795
So then here's the (apparently thirty) million dollar question: why are so many more folks fans of women's college basketball, which is, strictly speaking, an "inferior" product to the WNBA?...

...I suspect in my case it has something to do with my attachment to collegiate athletics and rooting for my alma mater. Maybe others have different reasons or intuitions for why we're all here and not on some WNBA forum? Answering that question would seem to go a long way toward helping the WNBA figure out how to reach potential fans.
Bingo. IMO WCBB does better than the WNBA because they have fans who care who wins. Personally I wouldn't follow the WNBA if it wasn't a continuation of the careers I started following in WCBB. Over the years my interest has expanded a little beyond just ex-UConn players. And I've seen enough Mercury games that I guess I am an actual Mercury fan - but not sure how that will continue after DT goes.
 
Top