ABC Sports, ESPN Ink 6-Year Agreement to Expand Coverage of Little League World Series
ABC Sports, ESPN Inc., and Little League Baseball have reached agreement on a six-year contract extension to televise the Little League Baseball World Series, it was announced today by Howard Katz, president of ABC Sports and Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League Baseball, Incorporated.
The Little League Baseball World Series expands next year, for the first time, from eight teams to 16. A second stadium is being built next to Howard J. Lamade Stadium, where the World Series has been played every year since 1959, to accommodate the extra games in the early rounds. Current plans call for the tournament to last nine days.
As part of the agreement that runs through 2006, ABC Sports will expand its coverage of the Little League Baseball World Series to include the United States Championship on Saturday and the World Series Championship on Sunday, starting in 200l. ESPN and ESPN2 will televise the eight U.S. Regional Championship games, as well as many of the International and U.S. pool-play games from Williamsport, PA. ESPN2 will continue to televise the Big League Baseball and the Big League Softball World Series Championship games.
"We are very happy to continue our great partnership with Little League Baseball," said Mr. Katz. "We have enjoyed our 37-year relationship and look forward to expanding our coverage to include the U.S. Championship game."
"Our relationship with ABC Sports dates to 1963 and we are building a similar long-term relationship with ESPN, which began televising Little League World Series games in 1982," said Mr. Keener. "As we initiate the expansion of the World Series in 2001, our partnership with ABC and ESPN will mean more exposure for our participants and our program. That exposure helps us to promote the positive characteristics associated with teamwork, fair play, respect for authority and the desire to excel."
The Little League Baseball World Series, televised on ABC Sports since 1963, is the culmination of Little League Baseball competition from around the world, and an eight-team pool-play series. Little League is played in 105 countries representing nearly three million children.
ABC Sports’ coverage of the 2000 Little League World Series will air SATURDAY, AUGUST 26, at 3:30 p.m., ET