ESPN Commemorates 48th Anniversary of Title IX with espnW Presents: When We Play, A Multi-Platform Event, June 21-23


ESPN Commemorates 48th Anniversary of Title IX with espnW Presents: When We Play, A Multi-Platform Event, June 21-23

  • More Than 125 Hours of Women’s Sports-Centric Content across Three Days and Five Networks
  • Fan-Voted Options, Original Programming and Classic Game Re-Airs All Available

On June 23, 1972, as part of the Education Amendments, the United States passed Title IX which “requires that no person be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination on the basis of sex under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

To celebrate the 48th anniversary of the passing of Title IX, ESPN will launch espnW Presents: When We Play, a three-day, women’s sport-centric, multi-platform initiative that will be anchored by more than 125 total hours of female focused programming across ESPN2, ESPNU, ACC Network, SEC Network and Longhorn Network. Additional content will be available on, ESPN Audio and the espnW social handles. espnW Presents: When We Play will run from Sunday, June 21 through Tuesday, June 23.

On the anniversary itself (June 23), beginning at midnight ET, female athletes and women’s sporting events will take over ESPN2, ESPNU, ACC Network, SEC Network and Longhorn Network for a full day of programming. It will be a day of buzzer beaters, record breakers, upsets, college championships, professional championships and career defining moments for trailblazing women such as Mo’ne Davis, Mia Hamm, Katelyn Ohashi, Ronda Rousey, Pat Summitt, Serena Williams and many more.

Fans Join in on the Action
The initiative kicks off on Sunday, June 21, at 12:30 p.m., on ESPN2, with a televised event voted on by the fans. Fans will have the option of voting for one of four recent major women’s sporting events:

  • 2020 USWNT: USA vs. Japan
  • 2019 Division I NCAA Volleyball Championship: Wisconsin vs. Stanford.
  • 2019 Division I NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship: North Carolina vs. Stanford
  • 2019 WNBA Finals Game Five: Connecticut Sun vs. Washington Mystics

Voting begins Monday, June 15 and is available on Twitter via the @espnW handle and on

Following the fan voted event on ESPN2, the slate will continue with:

  • Women’s College Basketball: The Oregon Ducks defeat Stanford and Sabrina Ionescu becomes the first NCAA Division I basketball player, male or female, to hit 2K, 1K, 1K (Points, Assists, Rebounds)
  • 2019 US Open: Bianca Andreescu defeats Serena Williams to win her first Grand Slam title
  • UFC 248: Weili Zhang vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

For the Occasion
Monday, June 22, on ESPN2, is a night devoted to original programming covering a wide-range of leagues and sports. WNBA Special will begin at 7 p.m. and take a look at the potential season ahead while also checking in on what the players have been doing during the hiatus. Ryan Ruocco will host, joined by Rebecca Lobo, LaChina Robinson and Holly Rowe. The special will also feature interviews with WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert and WNBA Champion Elena Delle Donne. Also airing Monday night:

  • Coco Gauff: The Lines Are the Same: Teenage tennis superstar Coco Gauff sits down with Chris Fowler to discuss her 2019 Wimbledon win against Venus Williams and the whirlwind she has been on ever since. (8) p.m.
  • E:60: A compilation of powerful stories about strong determined women, hosted by Lisa Salters. The show will feature the stories of Simone Biles, Kayla Montgomery and Sabrina Ionescu. The When I Play film is also included in this special edition. (9 p.m.)
  • SC Featured: This special edition of SC Featured is hosted by Elle Duncan and features stories of trailblazing women that include Althea Gibson, Denise Long, Shelly Pennefather, Pratima Sherpa, Katherine Switzer, the Silver Bullets and the Flying Queens. (10 p.m.)

The night’s line-up will also include re-airs of two impactful documentaries in Undefeated: The Black Female Athlete and For the Culture.

  • Unapologetic: The Black Female Athlete: The program highlights the challenges, portrayal and achievements of black female athletes, featuring interviews with a lineup of accomplished female athletes including Laila Ali, Michelle Carter, Misty Copeland, Allyson Felix, Simone Manuel, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Nneka Ogwumike and A’ja Wilson. Professional softball phenom and Gold Glove recipient J. Andrewsserves as host and interviewer.
  • For the Culture: A behind the scenes look at the building of an exceptional 2019-20 women’s basketball squad at the University of South Carolina, its iconic head coach Dawn Staley and a staggeringly talented team comprised of two seniors, four experienced returners and the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation.

But Wait, That’s Not All. . .
Throughout the three-day event, there will complementary content across, ESPN Audio and the espnW Facebook, Instagram and Twitter handles. Highlights include:

  • On June 23, That’s What She Said Podcast:Host Sarah Spain will lead a round table discussion with Pro Basketball Hall of Famer Tamika Catchings, former Notre Dame Women’s head basketball coach Ann “Muffet” McGraw and the University of Tennessee’s Athletic Director Phillip Fulmer on women in leadership roles. They will also discuss the new John Wooden & Pat Summitt book on this subject that comes out this same day. The interview will also air on Spain’s National ESPN Radio Show “Spain & Company” that evening.
  • Trailblazing NBA Women Coaches feature: About a third of NBA teams now employ a woman coach. Here, the coaches discuss their ascension in the men’s league. Interviews include Becky Hammon/Spurs, Jenny Boucek/ Mavs, Karen Stack Umlauf/Bulls, Natalie Nakase/Clippers, Kristi Toliver/Wizards, Lindsay Gottlieb/Cavs, Lindsey Harding/Kings, Niele Ivey/Grizzlies, Brittni Donaldson/Raptors and Teresa Weatherspoon/Pelicans.

 Full espnW Presents: When We Play Schedule

Date Time Program Network
Sun, June 21 12:30 p.m. Fan Voted Program ESPN2
  2:30 p.m. Women’s College Basketball: Oregon vs. Stanford
Sabrina Ionescu 2K, 1K, 1K
  4:30 p.m. 2019 U.S. Open
Bianca Andreescu Defeats Serena Williams
  6:30 p.m. UFC: Weili Zhang vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk ESPN2
Mon, June 22 7 p.m. WNBA Special ESPN2
  7:30 p.m. Unapologetic: The Black Female Athlete ESPN2
  8 p.m. Coco Gauff: The Lines are the Same ESPN2
  9 p.m. E:60 ESPN2
  10 p.m. SC Featured ESPN2
  11 p.m. For the Culture ESPN2
Tue, June 23 Midnight 2004 US Soccer: Mia’s Final Game
Mexico vs. USA
  2020 St. Pete Clearwater Elite Invitational:
UCLA vs. Florida State
  2019 SEC Women’s Gymnastics Championship SEC Network
  2019 Volleyball, Oregon vs. Pitt ACC Network
  2006 Softball:
Oklahoma vs. Texas
Longhorn Network
  2 a.m. 2018 WNBA Semifinals Game 5
Phoenix vs. Seattle Storm
  2020 Women’s College Basketball:
Mississippi State vs. South Carolina  
  SEC Storied: Sarah & Suzanne SEC Network
  2020 ACC Women’s Swimming & Diving Championship ACC Network
  2020 College Softball:
New Mexico vs. Texas
Longhorn Network
  3 a.m. SEC Storied: Stacy’s Gift SEC Network
  3:30 a.m. 2019 SEC Women’s Tennis Championship SEC Network
  4 a.m. 2012 US Open:

Serena Williams vs. Victoria Azarenka

  2020 College Gymnastics:
Utah vs. UCLA
  2020 College Softball:
Western Carolina vs. Clemson
ACC Network
  2005 Women’s College World Series
Texas vs. Arizona
Longhorn Network
  5:30 a.m. High School Cheerleading ESPNU
  2019 SEC Equestrian Championship SEC Network
  6 a.m. 2014 LLWS: Mo’ne Davis
Philadelphia, Pa. vs. Nashville, Tenn.
  2018 Women’s College World Series Finals Game #2: Washington vs. Florida State Game ACC Network
  6:30 a.m. College Cheerleading ESPNU
  2019 SEC Women’s Soccer Championship SEC Network
  7 a.m. College Dance ESPNU
  7:30 a.m. 2019 NCAA Women’s Swimming & Diving
Championship Day 4
  8 a.m. 2019 NCAA Gymnastics Championship:
Oklahoma win; UCLA’s Katelyn Ohashi’s final meet
  Packer and Durham ACC Network
  2020 Women’s College Tennis:
Michigan vs. Texas
Longhorn Network
  8:30 a.m. 2019 SEC Women’s Golf Championship SEC Network
  10 a.m. 2018 NCAA Women’s College Basketball Championship: Notre Dame vs. Mississippi State Arike Ogunbowale Buzzer Beater ESPN2
  2019 NCAA Lacrosse:
Boston vs. Maryland
  2019 Field Hockey Semifinal:
Louisville vs. North Carolina
ACC Network
  2005 Women’s College World:
Alabama vs. Texas
Longhorn Network
  10:30 a.m. 2019 SEC Women’s Volleyball:
Kentucky vs. Florida
SEC Network
  11:30 a.m. 2019 ACC Field Hockey Championship:
Boston College vs. North Carolina
ACC Network
  Noon 2017 Women’s College World Series:
Oklahoma vs. Florida (17-Inning Game)
  2019 NCAA Volleyball
Wisconsin vs. Stanford
  2011 NCAA Women’s College Soccer: Oklahoma vs. Texas Longhorn Network
  12:30 a.m. 2012 NCAA Gymnastics Championship:
UCLA, Utah, Stanford, Alabama, Florida, Arkansas
SEC Network
  1 p.m. 2009 NCAA Women’s College Cup:
North Carolina vs. Stanford
ACC Network
  2 p.m. 2004 NCAA Women’s College Basketball Championship:
UConn vs. Tennessee         
  2019 Beach Volleyball Championship


  2015 NCAA Gymnastics Championship
LSU, Alabama, Georgia, UCLA, Florida, Oklahoma
SEC Network
  2019 NCAA Women’s Soccer:
Washington vs. Texas
Longhorn Network
  3 p.m. 2018 NCAA Women’s College Cup:
Florida State vs. North Carolina
ACC Network
  4 p.m. 2016 WNBA Finals Game 5:
Los Angeles Sparks vs. Minnesota Lynx
  2019 NCAA Gymnastics Championship
Oklahoma win; UCLA’s Katelyn Ohashi’s final meet
  2017 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship
Mississippi State vs. South Carolina
SEC Network
  2019 NCAA Volleyball:
Baylor vs. Texas
Longhorn Network
  5 p.m. 2019 ACC Women’s Basketball Championship: Louisville vs. Notre Dame ACC Network
  6 p.m. 2017 Australian Open
Serena Williams vs. Venus Williams  
  2019 NCAA Women’s College Basketball
Notre Dame vs. Mississippi State
  For The Culture SEC Network
  2012 NCAA Volleyball Championship
Oregon vs. Texas
Longhorn Network
  7 p.m. Nine for IX: Pat XO SEC Network
  Women in the ACC ACC Network
  8 p.m. 2017 USWNT Soccer: USA vs. Brazil ESPN2
  2019 Women’s College World Series
Oklahoma vs. UCLA
  2012 Women’s College World Series
Oklahoma vs. Alabama
SEC Network
  2018 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship: Notre Dame vs. Mississippi State ACC Network
  1986 Texas WBB- NCAA Championship ( Longhorn Network
  10 p.m. UFC:Rousey vs Carmouche ESPN2
  2019 NCAA Women’s College Soccer
North Carolina vs. Stanford
  2015 Women’s College Series Championship Game: Michigan vs. Florida SEC Network
  2020 ACC Women’s Basketball Championship: Florida State vs. NC State ACC Network
  2019 Women’s College Basketball:
Texas vs. Stanford
  10:30 p.m. UFC: Rousey vs Tate 1 ESPN2
  11:30 p.m. UFC: Rousey vs Tate 2 ESPN2




Kimberly Elchlepp at [email protected] or 860-424-2923; @kimelchlepp



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