In broadcasting circles, March is synonymous with the “Madness” of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
But several cable networks, including ESPN, are rolling out hundreds of hours of original distaff-themed programming this month in celebration of National Women’s History Month.
In addition to national coverage of the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship—the ladies’ version of “March Madness” tips March 22—ESPN and its sister networks will air more than 150 hours of women’s sports programming featuring everything from billiards and lacrosse to cheerleading.
ESPN will also debut Pride, Passion & Power, a one-hour documentary examining the past, present and future of women’s college basketball and its players.
Co-hosted by NFL Live studio host Trey Wingo and college basketball analyst Stacey Dales, the documentary will feature players such as current Tennessee star Candace Parker and Brigadier General Michelle Johnson, a former player at the Air Force Academy and now the highest-ranking female in the armed forces.
As part of the network’s Championship Week coverage, ESPN2 and ESPNU will televise 18 women’s tournament games leading up to the “Big Dance” and ESPN360.com, its broadband network, will serve up 17 women’s conference championship games, five ESPN2 simulcasts of conference championship games and simulcasts of every Division I tournament game aired on the ESPN networks.
For those more interested in another kind of prowess, Smithsonian Channel throughout the month will serve up a steady diet of documentaries featuring women scientists and their studies of various animal species.
The “Women In Science” series will include documentaries such as Woman Among Wolves; Batwomen of Panama; Flying With Condors; Ghost Cat--Saving The Clouded Leopard; and Wanted: Anaconda, which features rare footage of a female anaconda giving birth in the wild and a “hair-raising face-to-face encounter.”