Tennis star Martina Navratilova has claimed she was paid £15,000 for her work as a Wimbledon pundit while John McEnroe was paid “10 times more”.
Speaking in a Panorama special on equal pay which is due to be aired on Monday, the 18-time grand slam winner said she was shocked when the pay list revealed McEnroe was earning between £150,000 and £199,999.
The BBC has claimed that the pair are on different types of contacts and that Navratilova appeared 10 times during last year’s tournament while McEnroe made 30 appearances.
A spokesperson said that Navratilova's salary is paid per appearance and she is classed as an occasional contributor.
They added that her pay reflects her time commitment and level of broadcast experience.
During an interview for BBC Panorama, she said: “It was a shock because John McEnroe makes at least £150,000…I get about £15,000 for Wimbledon and unless John McEnroe’s doing a whole bunch of stuff outside of Wimbledon he’s getting at least 10 times as much money.”
She added: “It’s still the good old boys’ network…. The bottom line is that male voices are valued more than women’s voices.”
Reports of the difference in pay has caused backlash online with many people confused as to why the tennis star would be paid less than her male counterpart.
Can't believe these comments. Martina is a legend (and a more successful player). She is not "whinging"for herself but for the disparity.— Annette Wicks (@annettewicks) March 19, 2018
A spokesperson from the BBC said: “We are incredibly proud of the whole team who present our Wimbledon coverage.
"Along with Sue Barker, John is regarded as the face of our Wimbledon coverage. 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 cannot work for another UK broadcaster without our permission. His pay reflects all of this; gender isn't a factor."
The BBC is currently facing criticism in the difference in salaries between male and female employees.
Former China Editor Carrie Gracie resigned from her post in January, citing pay inequality as her reason for leaving.
She said she was shocked to find that the BBC's two male international editors earned "at least 50 percent more" than its two female counterparts.