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June 25, 2007

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Shuggy

It's a bit silly, isn't it? It's only wrong to discriminate on the grounds of sex when it isn't a relevant distinction - but (just about) everyone acknowledges that sport is one area where it obviously *is* relevant. If not, why bother having separate mens and womens events at all?

Chris Williams

Surely the fact that the players might crack under pressure makes the whole business more entertaining? It's sport - it's supposed to be unpredictable.

The rallies are longer too, and the skirts shorter. Hmm, I might have wandered off the point for a moment towards the end there.

Chris Williams

Surely the fact that the players might crack under pressure makes the whole business more entertaining? It's sport - it's supposed to be unpredictable.

The rallies are longer too, and the skirts shorter. Hmm, I might have wandered off the point for a moment towards the end there.

ken Houghton

The rallies are longer, the skirts are shorter, the interest is higher, the advert revenues are higher.

Follow the money. Anyone seriously want to argue that Federer-Roddick-Nadal-Whoever is going to be more of a television draw than Henin-Sharapova-Williams-Larbalestier-Williams-Jankovic-Kuznetsova-Ivanovic?

(I'll give odds that even the casual watchers can tell you which of the names above is a YA author and not a women's tennis professional. Where if I had added Hewitt, Murray, Blake, Gonzalez, and Coville to the men's list, many fewer would know the outlier.)

dearieme

"relevant", Shuggy? Relevant to what?

tom s.

dearieme, I agree with dearieme.

Re "the women's game is just not as good as the men's" - it is time to drop the idea that comparing excellence between sports tells us anything at all about what salaries should be. Are highly-paid professional baseball players "better" than cricketers? Nobody cares. To see this mistake here - written by someone who usually has a keen eye for supply and demand - is a surprise.

Chris D. please write 50 times: supply and demand, supply and demand,...

Alan Douglas

"Unfairness" will only be eliminated when there is only ONE championship - for all players, irrespective of whatever sex they might be in their outside lives. Then the champion, from whichever sexual group they might be, should be paid equal money.

May the best man win ....

Alan Douglas

PS Tongue firmly in cheek !

Surreptitious Evil

Tom,

Yes, that was my point - you/they/it are worth exactly what people are willing to pay for it.

Admittedly, I am not sure how much (or, more likely, how little) of the income of Wimbledon is made up of ticket sales, compared to television et al (and the aftermarket makes the touts money, not the All England Club), just as I am unsure how much of the income of a tennis pro is made up of prize money as opposed to sponsorship etc. It doesn't change the fact that people with large amounts of money who want to impress (perm one or more of clients, girl or boyfriends, mistresses, mothers-in-law) seem to be (according to my in-depth research during a tea break) willing to pay significantly more for tickets to the men's final than the ladies - even the official day ticket prices are slightly more expensive (<10%) for the Sunday.

Also, surely supply and demand in this market are quite tightly regulated - only so many tournaments, few of which are "Grand Slam"s, each with a fixed number of entrants. Clearly, then, those trying to maximise their revenue-earning potential need to create an affiliated marketplace under their control - hence possibly the skirt length thing?

S-E

Workshy Fop

There isn't a direct correlation in sport between how much a sportsman is paid and how much people are willing to pay to watch them. Most sports fans pay to watch a team, regardless of who plays.

God knows, Titus Bramble wasnt picking up a 5 figure salary because Newcastle fans wanted to watch him. If I got my way, half the Stoke team would be signing on, yet they get paid because I'm willing to watch the team despite them.

Likewise, at the current Tennis tournament, most people are going to watch the event, not the personalities. It sells out regardless of who is on.

Shuggy

"relevant", Shuggy? Relevant to what?

Eh? To performance in the sport.

Matt Munro

Re "the women's game is just not as good as the men's" - it is time to drop the idea that comparing excellence between sports tells us anything at all about what salaries should be. Are highly-paid professional baseball players "better" than cricketers? Nobody cares. To see this mistake here - written by someone who usually has a keen eye for supply and demand - is a surprise.

Chris D. please write 50 times: supply and demand, supply and demand,...

Posted by: tom s. | June 25, 2007 at 06:35 PM

Er the comparison isn't between different sports though is it - it's between different sexes playing the same sport - whether you are male or female tennis is the same game with the same rules.
The biggest single difference from a spectators point of view (apart from the obvious visible underwear, tanned legs and sports skirts going off subject badly) is the length of the game - girlies only play 3 sets compared to mens 5 sets. I only really watch football and I'd expect to pay less to see only one half of a match, whoever was playing.

Matthew

I think the fact that men play 5 sets to women's 3 is irrelevant. This would suggest that if Federer wins 3-0 in most of his opening rounds then he should be paid less than if he won 3-2.

The ticket touts price is a better indication, as is TV audience, which in Britain (but perhaps only there) was higher in 2005 for the women's final -not sure about other games and years.

Endelno

Maybe it happens because men play 5 sets instead of 3, maybe because men play better, maybe because "women fall apart under pressure"... The fact is people are more interested in men's games: they watch them more, they pay more to watch them, they bet more on them (on average: there's almost no difference between the two finals, but there's a pretty big difference considering the first rounds...)
Should sponsors pay women football champions as much as they pay men football champions?

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