BBC pays John McEnroe ten times more than me, says Martina Navratilova
19 March, 2018, 17:47 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
In an interview for BBC Panorama: Britain's Equal Pay Scandal, Martina Navratilova - who won a combined 59 major titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles - revealed she is paid £15,000 by the BBC to provide commentary during broadcasts at Wimbledon, while her colleague John McEnroe (17 combined major titles) was paid between £150,000 and £199,999 for a similar role.
Awesome. To make matters worse, Navratilova told BBC Panorama that BBC executives told her directly that she was making a comparable amount to McEnroe, and she didn't find out the truth until the yearly salaries of top BBC stars was revealed a year ago.
"Unless John McEnroe's doing a whole bunch of stuff outside of Wimbledon, he's getting at least 10 times as much money", she said.
The BBC has yet again been hauled into a gender discrimination row as nine times former Wimbledon women's champion, Martina Navratilova, has accused the corporation of being a "good old boy's network" upon discovering gender pay inequality.
The BBC said "the two commentators are on different types of contracts and that Martina Navratilova appears less than John McEnroe".
Panorama said it estimated that McEnroe, 59, who was crowned Wimbledon champion three times, appeared around 30 times for the BBC at Wimbledon previous year, compared to Navratilova's 10 appearances. He is a defining voice within the BBC's coverage.
"He is widely considered to be the best expert/commentator in the sport, highly valued by our audiences, and his contract means he can not work for another United Kingdom broadcaster without our permission", a representative told the program.
It said their roles were "simply not comparable", adding: "His pay reflects all of this; gender isn't a factor".
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Panorama estimates that McEnroe made "about three times as many appearances" as Navratilova during the 2017 Wimbledon coverage.
She had just left the BBC after 20 years when the pay list was published last summer.
Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe are both world-famous tennis players who enjoyed brilliant careers and remain among the most well-known names in their sport.
To quote Navratilova, "Ten times more?"
Fran Unsworth, the BBC's director of news and current affairs, told Panorama: "We don't think we have acted illegally in regard to equal pay". A review commissioned by the BBC found a 6.8 percent gender pay gap, but "no evidence of gender bias in pay decision-making".
In the statement, the BBC said Navratilova is "one of a number of occasional contributors who is contracted to carry out a fixed volume of work and paid per appearance".
Radio 2's Chris Evans topped the list on more than £2 million (NZ$3.85 million), while the highest paid woman was Claudia Winkleman on between £450,000 and £499,999 ($NZ870,000 to NZ$965,000).
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