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Culture

ThinkProgress Encounters Economic Reality, Becomes Confused and Upset

ThinkProgress is in a huff because the real world insists on standing athwart its unicorn paddock:

The U.S. women’s soccer team defeated Japan on Sunday to win the World Cup. For their dominant performance, the team will collect $2 million from FIFA, the international body that runs the tournament. 

The championship prize for women pales in comparison to the $8 million in prize money awarded to men’s teams who lose in the first round. Every men’s team was awarded $1.5 million just for participating.

Gosh, why could that be? Perhaps it’s because there is an entrenched worldwide conspiracy to be mean to women. Or perhaps it’s because the women’s World Cup doesn’t bring in much revenue and the men’s World Cup does. Per the right-wing apology website Huffington Post:

“The World Cup pays for all the 20 World Cups FIFA organizes, the under-17, under-20 men and women, club football, beach soccer all is financed by the men’s World Cup which brings directly $4.5 billion to FIFA.”

The women’s game continues to grow in popularity with next year’s finals featuring 24 nations, up from 16 in 2011, for the June 5 to July 6 at six venues across Canada.

The Canadian Soccer Association said it expects attendance to come in a close to 1.5 million.

The actual figure was far below that, even after FIFA reduced the price of tickets to try to gin up interest. By contrast, the 2014 World Cup in Brazil attracted 3,429,873 people to the games, and 5,154,386 fans to all FIFA events. Likewise, according to the openly misogynistic New York Times, the Women’s World Cup of 2011 “brought in just $5.8 million, while the men’s cup in 2014 netted $1.4 billion.” Advertisers, the Times confirms, will pay 80 times as much to cover the men’s competition as the women’s.

The women are being stiffed. Stiffed, I tell you.

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