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WNBA Set To Lose $50 Million Despite Rise in Popularity, Is Women’s Basketball Depended on The NBA?

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The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) has been making headlines lately due to its increased visibility and growing fan base. However, behind the scenes, the league is grappling with significant financial challenges. Despite its popularity, the WNBA is expected to lose a staggering $50 million this season.

A recent tweet by TheBlaze (@theblaze) highlights a significant financial hurdle faced by the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). The tweet reads:

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“WNBA expected to lose $50 million despite popularity — league is ‘hard-pressed to exist without the NBA,’ executive says [link to article]” (

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This statement underscores the ongoing financial challenges despite experiencing a recent surge in popularity. While viewership and attendance are on the rise, the league still struggles to achieve financial independence.

The Rising Popularity and the NBA Connection

WNBA Set To Lose $50 Million Despite Rise in Popularity, Is Women's Basketball Depended on The NBA? - THE SPORTS ROOM

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The Women’s National Basketball Association has experienced a level of exposure not seen since its inception. Ratings are up, attendance is strong, and interest in women’s basketball is growing. Yet, the league’s financial situation remains precarious. According to a report from The Washington Post, some potential bidders for the NBA’s next media rights deal have not assigned specific figures to the WNBA. This lack of clarity may impact how much money the league ultimately receives in the deal.

While some within the league hope for separate media deals from the NBA, others emphasize the benefits of partnering with the NBA. These benefits include sharing resources, cross-promotion, and leveraging the NBA’s massive fan base to help grow the WNBA. Revenue is a critical part of the conversation, and the league faces tough decisions about its financial future.

WNBA’s Financial Struggle

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver revealed in 2018 that the WNBA has consistently lost an average of $10 million each year since its inception. This year, that figure is expected to rise to around $50 million. The reasons behind this larger loss are not explicitly revealed, but the inclusion of charter flights may be a factor. WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert stated that charter flights would cost each of the twelve teams $25 million annually, though there is uncertainty about who approved this expense.



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