Martina Navratilova: BBC pays John McEnroe 10 times more for Wimbledon

Lynette Rowe
March 20, 2018

Navratilova said she makes £15,000 ($21,000) covering Wimbledon, while McEnroe makes "at least £150,000 ($210,000)", she said.

Speaking on BBC Panorama, the Czech tennis champion-who's considered among the best female tennis players of all time- revealed that she gets paid about £15K ($21K) for her role as a Wimbledon commentator, while John McEnroe earns £150K ($209K) for the same work. Men such as John McEnroe (No. 1 in singles for 170 weeks) are celebrated for being loud, unpredictable, and bold.

"Unless John McEnroe is doing a lot of stuff outside of Wimbledon, he's getting at least 10 times as much money for very comparable work", Navratilova said in an interview to be aired on Panorama, the BBC's investigative programme, on Monday.

The tennis star thought she was being paid a comparable amount to men doing the same job as her, adding: "We were not told the truth, that's for sure. I get about 15,000 pounds for Wimbledon". McEnroe, a three-time Wimbledon victor, is rumored to have received between £150,000 and £200,000. "And you know and at the bottom line is that male voices are valued more than women's voices". The latter's salary was revealed in a ranking of the BBC's highest-paid names last summer, according to the outlet.

The BBC believes her pay reflects what she is asked to do, her time commitment, her level of broadcast experience, profile and track record and expertise.

Navratilova said her agent will ask for more money in future to work for the BBC.

That means McEnroe, who won the Wimbledon singles title three times in his career, was paid 10 times as much as Navratilova, who won the Wimbledon singles title nine times in her career.

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"Along with Sue Barker, John is regarded as the face of our Wimbledon coverage", a representative said. "John's pay reflects all of this; gender isn't a factor".

When questioned, BBC Sport countered by arguing that McEnroe's job was of "a different scale, scope and time commitment" compared to Navratilova. "I may still have to leave the BBC", she said.

"It makes me angry for the other women that I think go through this", she said.

Former BBC news presenter Maxine Mawhinney also said she is considering bringing a case against the broadcaster over pay.

McEnroe earned between $210,000 and $281,000 when the BBC revealed the top salaries of players past year.

"That doesn't mean, however, there won't be instances and cases where there is inequality and we need to address those".

"But for the women that work there full-time, maybe the discrepancy's not that large, but it adds up over a lifetime, it adds up to an fantastic amount of money". Only a third of those were women, and the top slots belonged to men - with the highest being breakfast DJ Chris Evans who earned between £2.2 million and £2.25 million in 2016/2017.

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