For the next six weeks, rugby will unusually claim pride of place ahead of football in the media's attentions, with back pages and news reports focused on the unfurling drama from the Rugby World Cup.
Yet the financial dominance of football is demonstrated in the huge disparities between the top players' salaries.
Read more: Sam Burgess cost rugby union £880, 000
The French Top 14 club will pay the legendary fly-half an annual salary of £1.4m a year for his services over three years, a contract which takes Carter above Australian Matt Giteau on rugby's rich list and makes him the only rugby player earning in excess of £1m a year.
In contrast, football's highest earner Cristiano Ronaldo has a salary more than 20 times larger than Carter, worth £33.8m a year. The Association of Accounting Technicians found that it would take Carter 24 years to make that much.
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England's highest-paid rugby player Sam Burgess, who was persuaded to leave rugby league and sign a £500, 000 a year contract with Bath, would need to keep playing for 67 years to make what Ronaldo does in 12 months.
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Football's financial might is further demonstrated by the fact that West Ham's Kiwi defender Winston Reid earns more than legends of New Zealand's national game such as Carter, Richie McCaw and Sonny Bill Williams with a salary worth £3.1m.
Seven of the nine highest-paid players play in the French Top 14 league, which has a higher salary cap than its competitors and enjoys the most lucrative TV deal in rugby worth just under £60m a year.
PlayerNationalityClubSalary*Dan Carter New Zealand Racing Metro 92 £1, 400, 000 Matt Giteau Australia Toulon £900, 000 Leigh Halfpenny Wales Toulon £600, 000 Sam Burgess England Bath £500, 000 Johnny Sexton Ireland Leinster £500, 000 Bryan Habana South Africa Toulon £474, 600 Morgan Parra France Clermont-Auvergne £436, 000 Thierry Dusautoir France Toulouse £408, 120 Bakkies Botha South Africa Toulon £389, 000