Why Do NBA Players Get Paid More Than WNBA? (The TRUTH)

You might be wondering why there’s such a big gap between the salary of NBA and WNBA players.

NBA Players are paid more than WNBA players because the NBA gets more revenue. Part of it is because the NBA has more teams, more games, and more sponsors.

But why exactly is this the case? What can be done for the WNBA to be more popular? We find that out here in this post.

Why do NBA Players Get Paid More than WNBA Players?

The simple answer as to why NBA players get paid more than WNBA players is because of league revenue. Aside from that, there are other factors that contribute to this.

Let’s dive deep into each one.

1. Revenue of the Leagues

First, the revenue of the two leagues is miles apart. The NBA has reported a revenue of $10 billion in 2021. In comparison, the WNBA received a revenue of $60 million in the same year.

This alone tells you a lot about what you need to know. Since the NBA receives more money, they can afford to pay the players more. The WNBA, however, loses about $10 million each year which the NBA covers.

2. Less Teams = Less Games

A large part of why there’s a pay disparity between the two leagues is the number of teams in each.

The NBA has 30 teams and around 500+ players in total. But the WNBA only has 12 teams and around 130+ players.

So, they play fewer games with 34 games in a season compared to 82 games for the NBA, not including the playoffs.

Since there are fewer games, there is less revenue to be generated from TV broadcasts, tickets, merchandise, and other sources.

3. Fewer Sponsors

The NBA has significantly more viewers than the WNBA worldwide. You can obviously see this from their YouTube channels alone.

One NBA game alone can rake in millions of views on YouTube. On the other hand, WNBA game highlights only average thousands of views.

Naturally, fewer viewers mean there’s less opportunity for sponsors. That’s why there are fewer sponsors in the WNBA. Not to mention, lesser pay.

Should WNBA Players Have the Same Salary as NBA Players?

There has been a lot of debate over the years among fans, players, analysts, and business owners over this topic.

Naturally, a lot of WNBA players believe that they should be paid the same or at least in the millions as well.

But due to the reasons we listed above, we can see that this won’t ever happen.

Aside from the tangible reasons primarily the revenue of the WNBA, there are intangibles.

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A lot of people seem to agree that WNBA games are ‘less exciting’ than NBA games.

Even the WNBA all-star game can’t even compare to an NBA preseason game. This is simply the truth when you compare the two leagues.

Although we can’t deny that the WNBA players are talented, it’s not enough.

We must remember that the leagues are ultimately a business. So, it’s not enough that players are good. They must be the best and they must put on a show every night.

There’s more competition in the NBA and the average skill level is undoubtedly high. Not to mention, there are more dunks in an NBA game compared to a WNBA season.

So, should WNBA players be paid the same as NBA players? We’d love to see that but it’s unlikely to happen soon.

Average Pay of WNBA vs NBA Players

The average salary of a WNBA player is around $102,751. While the average salary of an NBA player is $7.5 million.

The highest-paid player in the NBA in one year was Steph Curry with $40 million. While Brittney Griner received a salary of $113,500 which was considered the highest in the WNBA.

Just a quick glance at these figures and you’ll see a huge disparity in the pay. It makes sense that WNBA players are asking to at least get a piece of the pie.

But as we mentioned before, it’s not going to be as simple as that.

How to Increase the WNBA’s Popularity

Since there’s a lot of talk about the pay disparity between the two leagues, there is a lot of meaningful advice being thrown around.

We’ve compiled the best advice that can potentially make the WNBA more popular – hence increasing their salary.

1. Lower the WNBA rim

There’s a lot of talk about what makes a game exciting. But we can’t deny the fact that dunks are generally more exciting.

Even Shaquille O’Neal once suggested that the WNBA lower the rim so they can easily dunk.

We can see that this suggestion is a bit offensive for WNBA players, but we can’t deny the facts.

Plus, the ball is already smaller for the WNBA, so this suggestion is not completely out of line.

2. Improve their marketing

One thing that the WNBA must improve is its marketing. A lot of people don’t even know that a WNBA season is ongoing. They just get surprised when they hear that a new WNBA champion has been crowned.

This says a lot about the marketing of the WNBA. The league just can’t rely on the players to play good games.

The WNBA also needs to step up its marketing and make drastic decisions to improve viewership.

3. Expansion

Expanding teams to hot cities where there are more crowds seems like a no-brainer. But since the league is losing money each year, this seems to be just a dream.

Instead, what they can do is analyze the markets and see which teams are bringing in the viewers. Then, they can remove the teams that are down there to start new teams in cities that have more potential watchers.

It’s a drastic suggestion but it can’t be denied that this is what they need to do.

Final Thoughts

The difference in pay in the two leagues is night and day. Although we might never see the WNBA close the gap, at least they can increase it through various methods.

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