On Tuesday night, CBS Sports Network will air their latest original documentary. Box Girls of Nairobi is 30 minutes long (including commercials), and explores how boxing is being used in Nairobi, Kenya to empower young women.
The film is narrated by Laila Ali and produced by David Brand. It’s an interesting look at how and why boxing is becoming so popular in the slums of Nairobi, and how a local trainer is making an impact on the lives of these women by simply teaching them how to box.
You won’t want to miss The Box Girls of Nairobi special Dec. 19th on CBS Sports Network.
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) December 6, 2017
The short length and specific focus of this film makes it come off more like a 30 for 30 short or a Vice short film rather than a full-length 30 for 30 or HBO/Showtime documentary. It really comes off like something you would see on Vice Sports rather than CBS because the subject matter is pretty far out from the major CBS tentpoles of the NFL, SEC football, and college basketball.
However, I think there’s a space for documentaries like Box Girls of Nairobi under the CBS Sports umbrella, if only because there are so many under the radar stories (like, women’s boxing in Kenya) out there that a passionate filmmaker could create a compelling 30 to 60 minute film about.
I don’t think the film itself is must-see, though it is well-crafted and tells a good story. I think my main takeaway is whether or not CBS follows up and creates more films like Box Girls, or if this ends up forgotten and we don’t see another documentary on the network until March. If CBS can’t build on this, then it’s a missed opportunity for them, and the film will unfortunately fall into the abyss.
Box Girls of Nairobi premieres on Tuesday, December 19th at 10 PM ET on CBS Sports Network.