This year women’s curling teams will play for equal prize money as the men’s teams at the national championship. (Meghan Hughes/Twitter)
For the first time this year, women curlers at the Canadian championships will play for the same prize money as the men, and a P.E.I. curler says it’s a sign of changing viewership.
Last year, the women’s Scotties winner took home $59,000 and the men’s Brier prize was $105,000.
During the Canada Cup event in Leduc, Alta., on Sunday, Curling Canada CEO Katherine Henderson announced both will play for $105,000 this year.
Meaghan Hughes, who plays second on Suzanne Birt’s P.E.I. team and competed at the Scotties last year, said the old arguments for pay inequity don’t hold water.
“The historical excuse for difference in pay scale was the ratings — ‘Well, the Brier brings bigger ratings on TV and therefore warrants a higher purse’ — that’s just not the case anymore,” said Hughes.