Professional Water Polo?

Watching the Olympic U.S. vs. Russia Water Polo match they mentioned that after college some Americans would “turn pro” and that all the teams the Americans were playing against were basically “professional water polo-ists”

Googling I found some plans for a US pro-WP league but not a lot of follow-up so:

How many pro-Water Polo Leagues are there?

Is this a big sport, I mean lots of spectators, on TV, Radio, covered in local papers in any countries around the world?

Are there people making a good living playing WP in Europe and Asia? How much do the Stars make from plkaying? How about the average pro-Water polo-ist?

I apologize if this seems chauvinistic toward a beloved sport – (i.e. “There are pro-Basketball leagues that people pay to watch/make a good living at???”) I am simply ignorant about the particulars of pro-Water Polo.

FINA (the federation that runs swimming, diving, and water polo) has its own pro water polo league.

And think somebody must pay these guys:

Given that the top prize for the entire team is 100K and the US got 25K for being 6th I don’t think anyone better give up their day job just yet.

I think there are lot’s of “pro leagues” for fringe sports where the money is small
and being a “pro” is not a full time gig as it is in more popular and well paid sports.

Last week’s Sports Illustrated had an article on the U.S. water polo team. Some of what you asked was touched on.

IIRC, top players earn around 100,000 $US. The pro teams are based mainly in nations bordering the Adriatic Sea and in the Balkans (e.g Italy, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia & Montenegro, Greece, etc.).