I almost think badminton took the tennis’ economic model blindly and hasn’t adapted with the times, as it’s evident that the modern badminton world revolves around both doubles and singles
In tennis, singles players get paid more than doubles players because the scene revolves around singles, with very little emphasis around doubles in comparison. And the very few times doubles is actually played on TV, you can immediately realize why – the rallies are extremely short, the gameplay is choppy, and it doesn’t have that mass appeal that it needs to compete with singles (even though tennis singles is a bit on the dry side too IMO). Therefore tennis singles brings in much more revenue than tennis doubles, so singles players get paid more. Fine, that seems completely fair to me.
Badminton doubles in comparison is much more appealing than in tennis, and imo just as watchable as badminton singles. In the badminton scene, the doubles players are just as marketed and marketable as the singles players, and that’s because badminton doubles is so entertaining to watch. What about the numbers though? Viewership on BWF indicates that badminton doubles might be even more popular than singles, and since doubles is the most commonly played format in the casual scene, there is much more attention gone into the professional doubles scene. This can be seen from companies marketing certain badminton rackets “specialized for doubles”, and a lot of times becoming the most popular rackets of their era like the current AX88S/D. If you combine the professional and casual scenes, it’s very arguable that doubles may be the key format for this sport, so why are doubles players getting paid less than half of the singles prize money?