Does The WNBA Make Money? NO!

24,624 Views | 18 Replies | Last: 3 mo ago by Chibears2
Bear2019
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HOW MUCH REVENUE DOES THE WNBA GENERATE?
The WNBA generates revenues of $60 million annually, but it also has costs in excess of $70 million annually. So, the WNBA does not make money. It has turned an average $10 million net loss (revenue costs) per year, since its inception in 1996.
One of the main reasons that the WNBA remains in existence is that it is subsidized by the NBA, which are able to sustain this $10 MILLION LOSS every year.

WNBA REVENUE SPLIT
There is no known information on how much of the leagues revenue comes from what sources, but with a little bit of math, we can figure out an estimate.
According to the Washington Post, WNBA games averaged about 7,716 in-person fans per game in 2017.
With an average ticket price of $16.88, and 12 teams playing 32 games each, that leads us to being able to account for how much of the WNBA's revenue comes from ticket sales;
Here's our calculations: 12 (teams) x 32 (total games/team) = 384 (total games played) x 7,716 (average attendance per game) = 2,962,944 total tickets sold
2,962,944 (total tickets sold) x 16.88 (average ticket price) = Just over $50M (total revenue from ticket sales)
As we stated earlier, the WNBA makes an average of $60 million per year in revenue. The ticket sales, which makes up $50M, which is more than 83% of the total revenue of the WNBA.When comparing this to the NBA, the WNBA makes a much larger percentage of their revenue from ticket sales.

Of the NBA's ~$8.3B revenue per year, only about $3B comes from ticket sales. This equates to a little more than 35% of the NBA's total revenue.

SHOULD WNBA BE PAID THE SAME AS THE NBA? NO!
WNBA players can't be paid the same as NBA players because it does not make fiscal sense for the league. Well, they could be paid the same, but it would result in a fully bankrupt WNBA.
Many WNBA players, as well as other social justice advocates, are trying to make the case that WNBA players should be paid the same as NBA players (as a percentage of league revenue), but that is just not feasible.
Last year, of the $60 million in revenue of the WNBA, about $12.3 million is paid out to the players, which equates to just over 20% of the total revenue.
When comparing this to the NBA, which is a 50-50 split of revenue (NBA pays out 50% of revenue to players), it may seem unfair.However, these stats don't take into account the revenue, or even more important profits of each of the leagues.

*****The most obvious difference between the leagues is the sheer amount of money they make, not even taking into account how much they profit. The NBA has revenues of $8.3B/year, while the WNBA only generates $60M (as we said earlier).*****

NBA VS WNBA PROFIT
The WNBA has produced an average NET LOSS of $10M per year.
The NBA, however, turns a PROFIT of roughly $2.1B per year, which is what allows them to payout 50% of the league revenue to players.

While the WNBA only pays out 20% of its revenue, it doesn't actually turn a profit.

If the WNBA paid out the same revenue split as the NBA (50-50), that would cause the WNBA's net income to go from a net loss of $10M to a net loss of $28M per year.

Bottom line: If the WNBA were any other business not propped up for Woke, PC reasons....it would be allowed to go bankrupt. Down from 18 teams to 12 since its inception, the league has been an abysmal failure.


https://selfimprovementbase.com/does-the-wnba-make-money/






Meladee
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what's your point?

Also, comparing a league that 75 years old to a league that is 25 years old isn't exactly apples to apples.
BUBBFAN
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Meladee said:

what's your point?

Also, comparing a league that 75 years old to a league that is 25 years old isn't exactly apples to apples.
So, do you think in another 50 years the WNBA will equal the NBA in revenue?
Bear2019
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Meladee said:

what's your point?

Also, comparing a league that 75 years old to a league that is 25 years old isn't exactly apples to apples.
It's business. Some understand it. Some do not. There is absolutely no correlation between age and success. If that were the case, Sears and JC Penney would be worth more than Amazon. And we all know how that worked out. One is bankrupt after 100 years and the other one needs to be. No, the WNBA is a failed model. Just because you wish it to be, does not make it so. It has no fan base to speak of that is willing to spend money to watch it. $17 bucks a game and you still have to close down the mezzanine sections of arenas due to lack of attendance? And that does not include all of the free ticket giveaways owners have to resort to to get people to fill seats for TV imaging. Empty seats look awful for advertisers. There's just simply no profitable demand. Sometimes, knowing when to quit is not quitting. It's good business. The WNBA is only in existence to appease. It is a token toss to keep the woke, politically correct crowd playing with Legos in their room...so that the NBA can make money in peace. As shared above. The WNBA is broken and broke. I am sorry if the truth of business offends some. But be glad you are not writing the checks for a failed experiment that failed from the "jump"...no pun intended.
Eball
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I don't disagree but what brought the post on? Are you saying the women's game should just shut down or is it ok to keep trying? Do you not believe there have been some strides in popularity of the women's game college and Professional? I think all sports make and female taking a hit due to over saturation and too much competition for leisure dollars
slimecap
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Timberwolves, Lynx owner:
A-Rod, partner in agreement to buy teams

April 10, 2021

Link
https://www.mprnews.org/story/2021/04/10/timberwolves-lynx-owner-arod-partner-in-agreement-to-buy-teams
BaylorRocks
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slimecap said:



Timberwolves, Lynx owner:
A-Rod, partner in agreement to buy teams

April 10, 2021

Link
https://www.mprnews.org/story/2021/04/10/timberwolves-lynx-owner-arod-partner-in-agreement-to-buy-teams
A-Rod has demonstrated multiple times, since his playing days, that he's not only egotistically dim witted but also a terrible business man. Just happens to be a guy with countless wealth to burn because of his (earlier) baseball talent.

I'd say him getting involved in the WNBA foretells more doom and gloom for the league.

Sic'em
Tylerbear
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Another way to say it is that the salaries for the the NBA players = roughly 66% of the net revenue of the league pre salary

$8B revenue of the NBA less $2B cost = $6B net revenue x 66% for salaries = $4B for the salaries and the $2B net profit mentioned above

Under the same structure the WNBA would have $60m revenue less cost of $40m pre salary = $20m x 66% = $13m for the salaries and thus a $7m profit ..... and not a $10m loss

Bottom line they are paid WAY more than they should be paid when compared to the NBA ......to be equal to the NBA formula should be paid $13m in total salaries and not the $28m actual salaries
jetpacksam
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When the overall income is equivalent to that of the NBA, the wage disparity goes away.
The WNBA is in it's 25th year, so lets look at the NBA in year 25.

Average player salary 35,000, you ladies are currently drawing an average of 75,000. That's far above what the NBA was earning at the same time frame in league development, your earning that at a lower overall income point league wide.

Your argument does not hold water. You are comparing leagues at vastly different levels of development, further you are expecting owners to reward you with money they don't have.

BaylorRocks
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jetpacksam said:

When the overall income is equivalent to that of the NBA, the wage disparity goes away.
The WNBA is in it's 25th year, so lets look at the NBA in year 25.

Average player salary 35,000, you ladies are currently drawing an average of 75,000. That's far above what the NBA was earning at the same time frame in league development, your earning that at a lower overall income point league wide.

Your argument does not hold water. You are comparing leagues at vastly different levels of development, further you are expecting owners to reward you with money they don't have.


Oops...you forgot to factor in Present Value calculations:

The NBA was founded in New York in 1946.
25 years later would have been 1971.
The Present Value of $35,000 from 1971 is $229,060.
About 10 (top) players draw a salary of $200,000 or more in the WNBA today. Most are below $100,000...or about $15,000 in 1971.

https://www.dollartimes.com/inflation/inflation.php?amount=35000&year=1971

Sic'em
RRRR
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"Do you not believe there have been some strides in popularity of the women's game college and Professional?"
I don't know about the women's college game, but how can you say the WNBA has made strides when it has had to reduce its number of teams and attendance is down? Do you mean backwards strides? The wonder is not why it hasn't turned a profit, but why the WNBA still exists given its low level of athleticism. You're more likely to see a slam dunk in a middle-school boys game than an NBA game.

"I think all sports make and female taking a hit due to over saturation and too much competition for leisure dollars."
Where's your evidence for that? With male pro sports continuing to make huge profits, how can you say they're taking a hit?

It looks like your response is based on political correctness rather than reality.
fredbear
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I enjoy the WNBA. Can't wait to see the game tonight with BG. If you are saying the league is only losing 10,000,000 per year, then that is fixable over the long haul. 60/70 = 86 percent. The league is generating enough income to cover 86 percent of the expenses. Looks like a viable enterprise that with a few promotional tweaks and sponsors can move forward. Glass is way more than half full. Thanks for giving us positive news!
Eball
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Well WNBA viewership up 49% over last year according to ESPN
slimecap
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fredbear said:

Can't wait to see the game tonight with BG.
slimecap
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jupiter9
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Sounds like you haven't heard of the word "inflation". You can't compare a salary of 35,000 to a salary of 75,000, several decades apart, without factoring in inflation and value of the dollar. Your argument fails.
jupiter9
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If you think the WNBA doesn't have athleticism, then you haven't watched many games at all? And, if you are judging it based on "dunks", then you are passe. Dunks are even passe in the NBA. The 3 point shot is KING now. The NBA has even considered cancelling the All Star dunk contest. The 2022 contest was absolutely abysmal. The judges were embarrassed. It took one NBA dunk contestant about 8 tries to make one of his dunks. It was pitiful.
jupiter9
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The WNBA just raised 75 million in new investor funding in 2022. Viewership was up over 30% last year. More and more games are on TV stations. Bally Sports is showing most games in the various regional networks. And, ESPN, ABC, CBS Sports Network, and NBA TV are airing more games than ever. The 2023 top draft prospect Paige Bueckers has 3 times the social media followers that Banchero and Holmgren had at the time of their NBA drafts. Interest is growing. There is nothing "woke" about it. The commissioner for the last couple years is revamping the business model. What I don't understand is why someone views the measly 10 million that the NBA has provided, in some years, as some sort of bad thing. The NBA helped start the WNBA. Why wouldn't they support something they started.

And, with your logic, you would have to shut down half of the NBA teams. Forbes did an analysis of the 2019 NBA season and NBA teams. About HALF of the NBA teams were not making profits. They are PROPPED UP by the bigger market teams, through a shared revenue pool. So, the big revenue teams, such as the Knicks, Warriors, Lakers and Celtics, are propping up the smaller/lighter market teams. So, by your logic, about half the NBA teams are failures and should be shut down.

What your analysis fails to factor in is that much of the revenue, for the NBA, comes from TV contracts and, historically, the "old style" people in charge of media (from TV networks to newspapers) have been older men who favored the long standing men's sports of football, basketball, baseball, and hockey. The networks were pretty slow to come around to men's soccer. And, it wasn't until there were many new streaming channels that the door opened for other men's sports besides the traditional 4. And, this lack of media coverage for women's sports, in turn, keeps viewership down. Articles are buried. It's like the "chicken and the egg". ESPN, for example, on the web site, has the WNBA tab more buried. They have six or 7 sports listed on the main tab, at the top of the page, then everything else, you click on the "...." to see the other tabs. And, those, then are alphabetized, so the WNBA is near the bottom of 36 or so other sports, due to being at the end of the alphabet, behind things like "chalk". This is just another way that limits fan and viewership growth. It's "road blockages" still in place from "old fogies".

What I am most baffled about is why some people take it on "as a hobby" to demean and bash professional women's sports? It's NOT woke. My mother played college basketball in the 1940's and was a pole vaulter. Women's basketball is not something new that was started just to be "woke". Girls and women's sports are encouraged because most leaders of corporations or countries, who are women, played sports. It's a path to success. It's not "wokeness", which was not even a word when women's sports began. Is it woke for Kobe Bryant to coach his daughter's teams and support the WNBA? Or, was he just being a good Dad, wanting the best for his daughter who played basketball. There are Dads all over the country at their daughter's games. It's not a "woke" thing to involve your daughters in sports and see some grow up to be professionals.

The NBA did not even begin to become a big revenue generating business until around the 1980's, when the Larry Bird, Magic Johnson era got under way. Before that, it was rarely on TV. Why doesn't the WNBA have the same decades of opportunity to grow that the NBA had? Storm is averaging over 10,000 this season. They just had 17,000 at Sue Bird's last home game.

The wealthiest man in the world (Elon Musk) had his businesses propped up and saved, for years, when they were in danger of bankruptcy (both Tesla and Spacex). Both were propped up by the government and still are. Tesla through credit program and low interest loans. And, Spacex, through billions in government contracts with the military.. Businesses get supported and propped up all the time. Sometimes temporary and sometimes longer term. It's not always bad business to do so.

Time for the bashers of women's professional sports to find a new hobby. Stop needing your ego to be pumped up through bashing women. Or demeaning the women's game. The future is bright. These women work hard and the games are entertaining to true basketball fans. Those that just want dunks, can just watch the 1 minute highlight reel of an NBA game, as all the dunks in a game don't add up to more than 1 minute of time.


Chibears2
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It never ceases to amaze me how on one thread (where we're trying to make our case for BU staying with the big boy leagues) it can be shown how media exposure (and advertisement) can greatly affect the perception of popularity (being carried by certain networks generates greater viewership numbers, etc) and everyone hails that as perceptive, logical, fact-based, but then turn around and ignore that those same factors might apply to women's sports, in general. Give them exposure and advertise them like they are worthwhile, and the perception of a particular (including women's) sport/participating athletes goes up.

Also, the study after the '21 season showed that the NCAA was way undervaluing the women's tournament. Now why would an entity undervalue an asset…? Old male dominated mind set that fails to see the value of anything that puts female in the same sentence as sports, or deliberate decision so as to put less money towards women's programs by trotting out the "but they don't make money" argument…? Anything, ANYTHING you want to be successful, you have to spend time and investment promoting like you believe in it.

As to the WNBA, they are not mandated by any government entity. The owners are business people. When there is no longer a sensible reason for them to hold on to the teams, they can get out. No one is losing money just to be "woke." Maybe they need a loss for tax purposes. When NBA ownership of the inaugural teams was most prevalent, owners wanted to keep the venues open and help pay retained staff during the off season of the NBA. There's a reason…
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