ESPN, LLWS announce extension through 2030

ESPN will continue to air the Little League Baseball World Series as well as other events through 2030 as part of an eight-year extension.

The agreement was announced by both parties on Sunday, which would have marked the first weekend of this year’s World Series. The event was canceled in the spring because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Multiple generations of families have enjoyed playing and watching games on ESPN and ABC, and we’re excited to continue and expand the rewarding relationship,” ESPN president and Disney Media Networks co-chair Jimmy Pitaro said in a statement.

The eight-year extension, which covers domestic, international and streaming platforms, makes ESPN the exclusive global rights holder for Little League baseball and softball. ESPN will carry more than 300 games yearly. ESPN started televising Little League games in 1983 and each year since 1987.

ABC’s roots covering Little League go back to 1963. It is the second-longest sports media rights partnership, surpassed only by the Masters on CBS.

The Little League World Series, which is held in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, will expand from 16 to 20 teams in 2022.

Little League president and CEO Stephen D. Keener said in a statement that the relationship has allowed them to support more than 6,500 community-based programs.

ESPN will also continue to exclusively televise the annual MLB Little League Classic on Sunday Night Baseball. Next year’s event will take place on Aug. 22 and will feature the Cleveland Indians against the Los Angeles Angels.

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