Friday, September 7, 2007

Night Tennis II

In response to comments:

1. I agree with surprise at the 50% profit margin ($110M out of $220M). Not sure if the number is inclusive of the purse or not, but is a difference of 10% (approximately $20M out of $220M).

2. And what other sport cares about making sure players are adequately rested vs. insuring good television coverage? (The (presumably less popular) men play 5 sets -- not three -- on 24 hours' rest.)

3. "Grinding" works on the PGA Tour, admittedly. But the point is that it has worked a lot better in the post-Tiger Era. In 1996 (the last year before the PGA Tour was "Tiger-ized", 10th place on the money list was worth about $977K (And who was #10? David Duval); for the ATP Tour, the money was about the same: $961K (Wayne Ferreira). As noted earlier, today #10 on the golf list is worth about 4x as much money as #10 on the tennis list.

In 1996, Pete Sampras stood astride the tennis world, but he did nothing to 'raise the tide' for his fellow competitors; Alexander Waske makes $176K at #100 on the tennis list. In contrast, Cliff Kresge (#100 on the golf list, earning a cool $806K so far this year) ought to be thanking Tiger every time he walks by him in the locker room.

One other point: not only to the tennis pros make less, their travel costs have to be more. Take the month of April: the ATP Tour touches down in Houston ($416K total prize money) and Valencia, Spain ($416K) (both the week of 4/9); Monaco ($2.45M) (week of 4/16); Barcelona ($1M) and Casablanca ($416K) (week of 4/23); and Munich ($416K) and Estoril, Portugal ($625K) (week of 4/30).

The PGA Tour's April schedule starts with a Major (The Masters in Georgia), with a purse of $7M (week of 4/8); then to Hilton Head, South Carolina ($5.4M) (4/15); New Orleans ($6.1M) (4/23); and Dallas, TX ($6.3) (4/30).

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