| By Steven Kaplan

The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) and Perform, a British media company, signed a 10-year, $535 million deal for broadcast rights to every WTA tournament in its annual calendar. 

This is the largest commercial contract in the history of women's sports.

Heather Bowler of the WTA explained, "This is a defining moment not just for women's tennis, but for women's sport in general."

There is still a huge gender monetary gap between men and women, however. Consider, for example, that in the UK the top five athlete sponsorships for men in 2013 were worth $927 million. The equivalent figure for the top five women athletes in the UK in 2013 was $2.2 million.

The gap is closing, but the glass ceiling has not been lifted yet.

Steven Kaplan

Steve Kaplan is the owner and managing director of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as director emeritus of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation, and executive director and founder of Serve &Return Inc. Steve has coached more than 1,100 nationally- ranked junior players, 16 New York State high school champions, two NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions, and numerous highly-ranked touring professionals. Many of the students Steve has closely mentored have gone to achieve great success as prominent members of the New York financial community, and in other prestigious professions. In 2017, Steve was awarded the Hy Zausner Lifetime Achievement Award by the USTA. He may be reached by e-mail at StevenJKaplan@aol.com.