The NBA 2K League is nearing its draft, because the 17 franchises will choose six gamers every to fill their roster for the season that begins in Might and goes by way of the summer time (for extra on what the NBA 2K League will likely be like, you possibly can hearken to our Dime Podcast episode with Grizz Gaming GM Lang Whitaker right here).
The gamers drafted will likely be moved to town wherein their franchise is predicated and supplied housing, transportation, healthcare and a retirement plan during their contract. In accordance with The Define, these contracts will likely be re-signed each six months and will likely be value between $64,000 and $70,000, with gamers having the alternatives to signal sponsorship offers as effectively.
The dimensions of the contracts exhibits the dedication of those NBA franchises to the league in addition to how a lot cash there may be in eSports as a complete. Whereas that’s nice for the NBA 2K League and figures to assist them land the very best gamers to make for a robust product, there are these declaring one thing of an issue relating to wage disparity between the fledgling 2K League and the WNBA.
As Martenzie Johnson of The Undefeated factors out, the typical wage of a WNBA participant is roughly $72,000, which implies gamers within the NBA 2K League will instantly be higher paid than many professionals within the high girls’s basketball league on the earth. Now, whereas the 2K League is new, eSports should not and there’s a ton of cash to be made within the rising powerhouse that brings in hundreds of thousands of viewers.
That stated, the optics don’t look nice and highlights a problem that’s pushing its approach to the forefront of the WNBA, which is the necessity for participant salaries to see a major enhance if the league goes to proceed to develop and put out the very best product. As David Berri of Forbes identified in an article final September, the WNBA is paying gamers vastly lower than the NBA does even when accounting for the income hole.
The everyday argument you’ll hear for why WNBA gamers are paid a lot much less is that the league brings in far much less income than the NBA. That is true. Nonetheless, the place the NBA distributes half of its income to its gamers, Berri dug round and estimated that, at greatest, WNBA gamers had been receiving 22.eight % of the league’s income, whereas noting he was making a conservative income estimate primarily based off of ESPN’s elevated TV take care of the league at $25 million and an estimate of gate income of $26.5 million.
That’s an unimaginable hole and as Berri famous, if half of that $51.5 million was handed alongside to the gamers the typical wage can be nearer to $164,000. An ESPNW observe up article notes that if gamers had been incomes that a lot on common within the WNBA, moderately than the max wage being capped at $121,500, the product would seemingly enhance as a result of the quite a few gamers that tackle worldwide contracts to play within the WNBA offseason to make supplemental earnings (or in lots of circumstances earn more money than on their WNBA offers) may as an alternative relaxation and prepare to focus solely on the WNBA.
None of that is to say NBA 2K League gamers shouldn’t earn these salaries and that after the league figures out how a lot it is going to be bringing in off of media rights offers and extra it shouldn’t rise, however to level out the larger problem of the wage hole the WNBA remains to be dealing with and the way dramatic the adjustments to the CBA must be when the 2 sides can decide out in 2019.
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