ESPN introduces unprecedented weekend of women’s sports TV

The U.S. women's national team kicks off the 2022 SheBelieves Cup on ESPN on Thursday night. (Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

ESPN will feature an unprecedented slate of women’s sports on ESPN and ABC this weekend, with the coverage kicking off on Thursday.

The network will broadcast five premier matchups featuring top-ranked teams in basketball, softball and gymnastics, as well as the United States women’s national team’s SheBelieves Cup campaign. The national team’s game against New Zealand, airing at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, will be its first on ABC in 18 years.

The weekend will also include a women’s college basketball-themed edition of “College GameDay” before Sunday’s matchup between No. 1 South Carolina and No. 12 Tennessee at 1 p.m. ET on ABC. Elle Duncan, Rebecca Lobo, Carolyn Peck, Holly Rowe and Andraya Carter will host the hour-long pregame show, beginning at 12 p.m. ET on ESPN.

“We are thrilled to showcase another regular season women’s college basketball game on ABC this year and for College GameDay to return to a marquee women’s matchup,” said Alystia Moore, ESPN Manager, Programming. “ESPN constantly strives to raise the bar to increase the exposure of women’s basketball and women’s sports overall, and we’re looking forward to an incredible slate of programming across the entire weekend.”

ESPN and ESPN+ will also highlight 40 women’s college softball games from Thursday through Sunday, with No. 3 UCLA and No. 4 Florida State going head-to-head at 7 p.m. ET Sunday on ESPN.

In a bonus, ESPN moved an SEC gymnastics showdown between No. 8 Alabama and No. 5 LSU at 9 p.m. ET on Friday night from ESPNU to ESPN.

“The opportunity for ABC to feature the defending Women’s World Cup Champions as they take on New Zealand in the SheBelieves Cup is a big win for women’s sports,” said Sonia Gomez Baker, ESPN Senior Director, Programming. “Pairing that match with the Top 15 women’s college basketball lead-in of South Carolina hosting Tennessee, viewers will be treated to an afternoon with some of the most prominent U.S. Women’s National Team stars and also a chance to watch some of the most exciting up-and-coming stars across women’s sports.”