TI5 prize pool – right now at a staggering $15,450,000, has once again broken the record for the biggest esports prize fund in history.
Inherent differences aside, let’s take a look at how Dota 2’s biggest event of the year compares – strictly in terms of prize pool – to ten popular, some centuries old, traditional sports.
Mind you, this list will not include giant phenomena – such as UEFA Champions League or Formula 1, nor draw conclusions on how much money traditional athletes actually earn.
1. Cricket World Cup: $10 million
At its 11th occurrence, this year’s Cricket World Cup was jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand. Fourteen teams, contesting a total of 49 matches in 44 days, in 14 venues, in front of a total estimated audience of 1,016,420 (an average of 20,743 per match). Estimates say the championship was broadcast to a total television audience of almost 2.2 billion, in more than 200 countries. Although the total reach is not the same thing as the viewership, the Cricket World Cup is believed to be the third most watched global sporting event, behind the football World Cup and the Rugby World Cup. According to India Times, the semifinal between India and Australia peaked at 309 million viewers on national television. This year’s Cricket World Cup total prize fund reached $10 million, out of which the winners – the Australian cricket team, banked a cheque for just shy of $4 million.
2. Masters Tournament: $10 million
The 2015 Masters Tournament was the 79th Masters Tournament and the first of the four major golf championships held this year. This year’s final round peaked at a rating/share of 10.6/21 and an estimated viewership of 17.7 million. The total purse reached $10 million for the first time. The winner alone got $1.8 million, while second place was worth over $1 million. Payouts were awarded for the top 50 finishers.
3. Super Bowl: approximately $8 million
The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL). Taking place every year since 1967, the event is considered by some an unofficial American national holiday. The 2015 Super Bowl drew an average audience of 114.4 million viewers, which made it the most watched broadcast in U.S. TV history. According to NFL’s media guide, this year, every player on the 53-man roster of New England Patriots – the team that won the Lombardi Trophy, received a $97,000 bonus. Each player on the Seattle Seahawks losing team’s 53-man roster received a bonus check of $49,000. The NFL pays players for each stage of the playoffs they reach. For instance, a player on a division winner participating in the Wild Card round and winning the Super Bowl can receive a maximum amount of $180,000.
4. NBA Finals: approximately $7 million
The NBA Finals is the championship series of the National Basketball Association. The first series was held in 1947. According to NBA, this year’s finals peaked at 24.4 million viewers on ABC and generated a record 704,000 unique viewers on the WatchESPN platform. In the NBA, there is no championship prize money per se, just a $14 million playoffs pool that is divided among the playoff teams. The amount earned depends on the certain stages teams advance to in the playoffs. Approximately half of this prize fund is allotted for the actual finals. For instance, the San Antonio Spurs, winners of the 2014 NBA Finals, received $4,104,811, while the Miami Heat earned $2,795,220.
5. Stanley Cup: approximately $6 million
The Stanley Cup is the championship trophy awarded annually to the National Hockey League (NHL) playoff winner. The first Cup was awarded in 1893. The 2015 Stanley Cup Finals between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Chicago Blackhawks have averaged at 4.965 million viewers on NBC. The NHL playoffs bonuses pool reaches a total of $13 million and every team in the playoffs gets some form of bonus money. Almost half of the playoffs purse is allocated for the Stanley Cup finals. In 2014, the winners – Los Angeles Kings, received a total of $3.75 million, while the runners-up – the New York Rangers, got their hands on $2.25 million. How the money is divided among the players varies from team to team, but it is believed that each player can receive a maximum of $100,000.
6. World Aquatics Championship: $5.5 million
The FINA World Championship – also known as the World Aquatics Championship, is the premier non-Olympic swimming competition. This year, $5.5 million will be awarded across five disciplines: Swimming, Diving, Open Water Swimming, Synchronized Swimming and Water Polo. The event will take place between July 24 – August 9, in Kazan, Russia, and it will be broadcast to 4.5 billion potential viewers. The 2013 World Championships held in Barcelona had an estimated viewership of almost 3 billion people, however, considering the metrics used to calculate it, it would be probably fair to say the figures were actually a lot lower than that.
7. World Snooker Championship: $2,096,000
The 2015 World Snooker Championship was the 78th edition of the championship that took place from April 18th to May 4th. The best snooker players on the planet competed for a top prize of $461,000, watched by nearly half a billion people around the globe (estimated viewership of 450 million). The total prize money awarded at this year’s edition reached $2,096,000.
8. Le Tour de France: $2,237,763
The 2015 Tour de France is the 102nd edition of the Tour de France. This year, the organizers are expecting a total of over 3.5 billion viewers from across 190 countries, over the course of three weeks. However, the figure seems unlikely, if we were to compare it to more popular sporting events, such as the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which reached over 3.2
billion people around the world, out of which 2.2 billion watched a minimum of 20 consecutive minutes of coverage – according to a report put together by KantarSports, at FIFA’s request. In all likelihood, the Tour de France viewership figures are a lot lower than 3.5 billion, however, they’re not to be neglected: 10.7 million have watched last year’s tour on British television, while 17.6 million viewers followed the competition on the Eurosport channels. The total prizes and bonuses for the 2015 Tour de France sum up to $2,237,763. According to the list of prizes, the winner’s share is short of $500,000.
9. Badminton Super Series Masters Finals: $500,000
Some might not consider badminton as one of the major sports, but if broadcasters’ advertising revenues and viewership numbers are any indication, it’s definitely coming of age. Over 2,000 hours of live World Super Series coverage are broadcast on television in more than 160 countries every year, for an audience of almost 22 million people – similar to the TI4 audience. According to worldbadminton.com, the Badminton Super Series cumulative viewership is estimated at 150 millions. The Super Series Masters Finals offers a total prize pool of $500,000.
10. Archery World Cup: approximately $40,000
Archery was more than once the most watched sport at the Olympics. The 2015 Archery World Cup is the 10th edition of the annual competition, organised by the World Archery Federation. Four preliminary stages are held, with the first leg in Shanghai, China from 5–10 May, the second leg on 26–31 May in Antalya, Turkey, the third leg on 11–16 August in Wroclaw, Poland, and the final leg on 8–13 September in Medellin, Colombia. The finals will be held in Mexico City on 17–18 October. Approximately $40,000 are awarded, out of which $21,225 represents the winner’s share. According to the World Archery Federation, the event has an estimated cumulative audience of 800 million people.
Featured Image: pezant.ca