The Little League World Series is broadcast on television by ABC and ESPN, along with their family of networks. They also televise the regional championships, which precede the Little League World Series.
Broadcast history 
The ABC television network began televising a tape-delayed Little League World Series Championship Game on an annual basis in 1962. From 1965 to 1985, the championship game was broadcast during the weekend, airing under ABC's Wide World of Sports umbrella.
In 1982, Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) began expanding their cable television network through increased coverage of sports entertainment on a global scale. During this time, ESPN's brand and its family of networks, began covering the Little League World Series games in an greater capacity. A total of 12 games were televised by the network in 2000, resulting in nationwide popularity of the game, which provided opportunities to expand the total number of teams from eight to 16.
In 2001, ESPN covered all eight U.S. regional championships. This was as a result of a second stadium, Volunteer Stadium, which allowed games to take place simultaneously. Also that year, ABC began televising the U.S. Championship Game. That year, ESPN aired a total of 25 games. In 2003, ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2 carried a total of 35 games including regional championships. All games aired on any ESPN network are also available via Internet streaming on ESPN3.
One of the most prominent announcers was Harold Reynolds. Former major league baseball player and color commentator Tony Gwynn referred to him as "the Pied Piper of Little League baseball." Some of the game broadcasters and play-by-play commentators have included sportscasters Al Michaels and Brent Musburger, American sports journalist Jim McKay, and former major league baseball players Cy Young Award and World Series MVP Orel Hershiser, and Hall of Fame baseball players Johnny Bench, Mickey Mantle and Jim Palmer.
Nationwide popularity 
According to John Tauer the popularity of the Little League World Series may be based on people's own needs.
One argument is that adults watch for the next big star. Everyone wants to be the ones to say I remember that kid when he was younger, and I knew he would make it to the league. With the games being televised people get to be exposed to more, and more talent.
Kids this age also express raw emotional feelings more than any other age in their life’s and people love emotion. Whether these kids are crying on the field because they just gave up the game-winning hit, or their jumping all over each other after a game-winning RBI. People love watching those emotions. Kids at this age are playing for the love of the game, and also they do not control there emotions as well as older players. So people can be sure no matter the outcome of the came they will see emotions from both sides.
Tauer also says we can use these games as ways to teach our own kids. Weather good or bad you can always see some lesson being televised during the game. You can teach sportsmanship because after every game win or lose the kids shake hands after ever game. During that same exchange you can see bad things like kids spitting in their hand before shaking an opponent’s hand. Many parents can teach kids valuable sportsmanship lessons, and explain to them that weather you’re on the big screen or just playing down the street it is always important to display good sportsmanship.
Programming successes 
The Poynter Institute was hired by ESPN to write about their programming, from an outsider's perspective. This blog became known as The Poynter Review Project. The report concludes that the Little League World Series is a good thing for ESPN, fans, and the players.
The Poynter Review Project states that there is no reason for ESPN to shy away from the fact that the kids are crying. Crying is actually a healthy emotion that especial boys that age should be able to comfortably be able to express. Adults should use this moment to articulate that these emotions are normal and healthy responses to such a moment of either disappointment or achievement. What is unhealthy is if these kids do not cry during such moments. There is also no evidence that these kids develop mental health issues later on in life from playing in this tournament
ESPN has gone away from trying to show kids crying because of all the criticism they have received from people. Instead ESPN could use these moments to help kids out.
The Poynter Institute argues that there is no reason not to enjoy these competitive kids do what they do.
Programming concerns 
While there has been documented successes of the Little Leagues World Series, there have also been detractors of the sports program that believe that there is too much exposure for the Little League World Series, especially the effect it has on the participants. ESPN's Tim Scanlon defended the network's coverage, "We're not trying to hide or patronize the coverage... but you don't want to sensationalize those moments. It's about the experience and the competition. It's pure. It's almost innocent."
- Financial remuneration
Another topic brought up in the media is whether Little League should pay for the players, and coaches during the tournament, since Little League makes $3.7 million dollars in television deals, now that most games are televised. Most people understand why these kids do not get paid, but since money is being made now it is understandable to pay for the trip."
- Exploitation of children
Bill Plaschke is a Los Angeles Times sports writer who also contributes to ESPN from time to time. He has written an article about the exploitation witnessed during a televised game of the Little League World Series. He describes in detail situations, such as children pouting in an attempt to hold themselves together in tough situations, parents yelling at the players, all which is aired in what can be perceived as an exploitation of their situations, for which there are many examples of in television. Plaschke says the blame is not on the networks, but on the Little League itself because if ESPN or ABC did not show the games then some other network would. Plaschke also said we just don't need to see it, and they don't need us to see it. Cameras do not help already tense situations, arbitrarily deter from what matters, and unjustly exploit. The cameras change everything for kids who just aren't ready for it. He brings up the point that no other league exploits their kids at such an early age. Most of these kids are between the age of 11-12. The earliest you see football and basketball stars are High school, and you cannot see hockey stars till college. A lot of this may have to do with popularity, and money, but that is why Plaschke blames the League the most for this.
The pressures of these kids mirror those of a major league baseball team on any given day. On most days these kids are playing in front of crowds of 45,000 people who are hanging onto their every pitch. This is more fans than some major league teams can only dream about having in their own stadiums. Most of the star pitchers are throwing about 200 pitches on short rest which is something that you will never even see anymore in the major leagues.
The pressure is not limited to the fans at the park. According to Biz of Baseball the 2009 had 1.56 million viewers. This was a 60% increase from the year before. These kids are carrying the pride of the city they are from on their back, and they know that people such as their friends, and family are watching from their home town.
Kids are also pressured to represent their country. This was especial true in the 2003 Little League World Series for the American team according to Ryan White. White says that during the broadcast ABC and ESPN where both trying to reassert that America was the most dominate country in the world. White argue that the kids that participated in this World Series were subject to doing things the "American way" such as specking English which lead to kids from other countries not even being able to articulate their own name. He also argues that everything that was associated with the games was covered in red, white, and blue to again show nationalism and pride. He argues that it is sad that the production of this event exploits these young kids to reassert the dominance of America, and the focus was not on the kids.
See also 
- "They're dancing in Williamsport". Usatoday.Com. 2002-08-27. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
- Archive copy at the Wayback Machine
- "ESPN.com - Little League World Series coverage". Sports.espn.go.com. 2000-08-10. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
- "BASEBALL; Little League Innocence Fades in TV Glare - New York Times". Nytimes.com. 2003-08-18. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
- "A different kind of small ball awaits Gwynn". Nctimes.com. 2005-08-19. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
- Tauer, Jhon. "Why are we motivated to watch the Little League World Series?". Magazine. Psychology Today. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
- McBride, Kelly. "Boys do cry: ESPN's approach to LLWS". Blog. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
- "BASEBALL; Little League Innocence Fades in TV Glare - New York Times". Nytimes.com. 2003-08-18. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
- Posted in SportsComments (0) (2011-08-30). "The Little League World Series | The Butler Collegian | Butler University's Student Newspaper Online". The Butler Collegian. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
- Plaschke, Bill (13 August 2011). "Little League's boys and girls of summer are too young for TV". LA Times. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- Jenkins, Sally (August 25, 2009). "Sally Jenkins on the Little League World Series: They Grow Up So Fast". Washington Post.
- Murphy (August 25, 2009). "Viewership for Little League World Series Up Sharply Across ESPN Networks".
- White, Ryam. "STAGING THE (AMERICAN) NATION: PRODUCTION PRACTICES AT THE 2003 LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES". Thesis. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.