USWNT Gets Paid for USMNT’s World Cup Run, Per New CBA +2023

DOHA, QATAR - NOVEMBER 29: (LR) USA's Tyler Adams, USA's Matt Turner, USA's Tim Ream, USA's Cameron Carter Vickers, USA's Christian Pulisic, USA's Antonee Robinson, Josh Sargent of USA, Timothy Weah of USA , Yunus Musah of USA, Sergino Dest of USA, Weston McKennie of USA during the World Cup match between Iran and USA at Al-Thumama Stadium on November 29, 2022 in Doha , Qatar (Photo by David S Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

The United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) advanced to the Round of 16 at the Men’s World Cup yesterday with a win over Iran, and the players on the field aren’t the only ones benefiting. Thanks to the new collective agreement between the USMNT and the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT), the men’s and women’s teams will share the prize money the men win at this World Cup, including the $13 million they will qualify for the next received rounds – a first in international football.

That means the women could already take home around $6 million just if the men move on to the next stage. Incredibly, that’s more prize money than USWNT took home to win the last two women’s world championships together.

Corresponding power games, the USWNT won $2 million for winning the 2015 Women’s World Cup and $4 million for their 2019 win. For comparison, after their win over Iran, the men’s team now gets at least $13 million — even if they lose next game. If they win and advance to the next round, the prize pool increases up to $17 million. After that, it increases each round, with the men’s world champions getting $42 million.

The pay gap between the men’s and women’s world championships is shameful in itself, and we’ll get to that in a moment. But first, back to the collective agreement. In May, USWNT’s year-long struggle for equal pay culminated in a new collective bargaining agreement signed by US Soccer and the men’s and women’s players’ associations. Among other things, the agreement stipulated that 90 percent of World Cup-related prize money won by either side would be “pooled and split equally” between the men’s and women’s teams, with US Soccer suffering a 10 percent cut.

Corresponding US Soccer, the association is the first in the world to equalize the World Cup prize money for men’s and women’s teams. “The agreements will ensure that US Soccer’s senior national team players are among the best paid in the world,” US Soccer said at the time.

Under the terms of the agreement, the $13 million already won by USMNT will be split between the men’s and women’s teams, minus the 10 percent going to US Soccer. That totals about $5.85 million going to each team.

If you spend any time on the sports side of the internet at all, you won’t be shocked to hear that some people are angry about this, apparently on behalf of the men’s team (who in turn voluntarily agreed to this CBA). Goals, a women’s sports consultancy, has rounded up some of the more pathetic footage Instagram post for those of us who haven’t waded through the toxic comment sections ourselves. “Getting paid for doing nothing. It’s pretty embarrassing,” said one person, because apparently winning four world titles counts as doing nothing.

“They’re basically 2 completely different sports,” said another. “One has a lot of sales, the other very little. How they earn anywhere near the same amount is beyond me.” And my personal, tired favourite: “There’s a reason the two achievements are incomparable… The skill, quality and skill of women’s football are vastly inferior.”

Alex Morgan would probably take all those badass commentators by surprise in 0.1 seconds, but that’s not the real issue here. As always, most internet trolls don’t realize how popular women’s sport is and how fast it’s growing. Women’s football alone has seen sustained growth in interest and attendance for years. The 2019 Women’s World Cup attracted a record 1.12 billion viewers, according to TV reports FIFA, with 14.3 million US viewers watching the final between the USWNT and the Netherlands. Because we’re making comparisons, that’s up 22 percent from the 2018 Men’s World Cup final (11.4 million US viewers), according to Fox Sports. CNBC. The 2019 Women’s World Cup final was also the most-watched football match on English-speaking television – men or women! – in the US since (oh, look at that) the 2015 Women’s World Cup final (25.4 million viewers).

And that’s just in the US. The patterns are similar worldwide. The women’s Euro 2022 tournament drew a record 365 million live viewers worldwide, more than double the 2017 figure of 178 million viewers Uefa. That Guinness World Record for the largest attendance at a women’s soccer game (a record set by the USWNT during the 1999 World Cup and held for 23 years) has been broken twice this year and is now held by FC Barcelona Femení and VfL Wolfsburg, who drew 91,648 to a game in Barcelona on 22.

Speaking of which, the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) in the US has also gone bust regular season and Playoff Viewer Records this year. Alexis Ohanian (Co-Founder of Reddit, Lead Investor in NWSL’s Angel City Club, Husband of Serena Williams, Father of Olympia, etc.) narrated sport Center in September that investing in women’s football was “the most obvious and best sporting investment I could make…it was so obviously undervalued”. When we think of the excellence of American football, he said, “We think of women…when we think of football, the most popular sport in the world, it’s women who have worn the crown for us.”

To quote one of our commenters above, the “skill, quality and ability” of women’s soccer players is enough to draw fans in droves. The lack of revenue isn’t because the sport isn’t popular – it’s because women’s football, and women’s sport in general, continues to be grossly under-appreciated by the media and by the organizations to which the teams belong. The NCAA’s absurd valuation of the NCAA’s March Madness tournament is one example: according to a third-party valuation published last year, the NCAA had valued the women’s tournament at about $6 million a year. The actual value? Possibly more than $80 million.

In football, FIFA itself (hardly a bastion of equality) recently criticized the TV deal offers for the 2023 Women’s World Cup, with FIFA President Gianni Infantino saying that some offers are “100 times less, sometimes even more than 100- times” than the value of the men’s World Cup rights deal Associated Press. “We won’t accept that,” said Infantino, “because we know that the ratings of these channels in some major football countries are actually very similar at the men’s World Cup or at the women’s World Cup … meaning their commercial The income is for men and women very much alike.”

The USWNT earns much more than they received from their World Cup success.

Women’s soccer players and fans both contribute to the growth of the sport, but at some point it’s up to organizations (FIFA, US Soccer) to force broadcasters and sponsors to give players what’s theirs. And that means these organizations themselves must recognize the monetary value of women’s teams – the value of women athletes who, despite their success and popularity, have so often been vilified or simply overlooked.

Which brings us back to the United States National Team Collective Bargaining Agreement, which was a clear step in the right direction and both teams appear to have signed with pride. “They said equal pay for men and women wasn’t possible, but that didn’t stop us and we went ahead and got it,” USMNT defense attorney Walker Zimmerman said, according to an article published by US Soccer. Zimmerman was among the leaders of the men’s team who took part in the negotiations. “We hope this will sensitize others to the need for this type of change,” he continued, “and inspire FIFA and others around the world to move in the same direction.”

Because that’s the real problem. Internet trolls can use “inferior quality” and lower earnings to justify lower wages for players all they want. Maybe they think they’re championing the men’s team, but these players all signed up with this CBA. They have known since March that any prize money they win at this World Cup will be shared with the women’s team, just as next year’s women’s prize money will be shared; It’s a deal they seem proud of. “It’s a great deal for both teams,” Zimmerman said in an interview in June american football podcast. “What a great opportunity to do something historic and to come out on top and be the first federation [the] first men’s and women’s side to agree on exactly the same wages.”

No, the men’s team seems to agree. In this case, the organization the trolls ultimately defend is FIFA, which Power Play says could offer $60 million in total prize money at the next Women’s World Cup, compared to $440 million at the Men’s World Cup. And yes, Infantino can point to unfair media rights deals — and broadcasters have a lot to blame, too — but according to the AP, this organization is expected to rake in $7 billion by the end of this four-year World Cup cycle. It’s hard to imagine that FIFA really can’t afford to pay the women’s teams the same amount, or at least significantly more than what they’re getting in prize money now, which could be more than in 2023 seven times less than the men.

Because of their performance and popularity, the USWNT earns much more than they received from their World Cup success, but they cannot control what FIFA gives them. For this reason, US soccer and the men’s and women’s teams have taken this step themselves, through a collective agreement that guarantees equal pay, in the hope that it will not only level the playing field, but also serve as an example to other national federations and ultimately FIFA itself.

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