Why Is the Little League World Series Televised?

Congrats to the team from California who won the Little League World Series this past weekend.  Those kids will have memories that they will share with their kids and grandkids for the rest of their lives.

Too bad ESPN’s family of networks made some money off of them.

I have a huge problem with ESPN’s coverage of Little League Baseball.  Televising the final round is one thing.  Televising the whole damn tournament is another.  I don’t need Nomar Garciaparra and Orel Hershiser breaking down tape and giving analysis on 12-year-old baseball players.  It just seems so damn creepy to me.

While I do not know the contract numbers ESPN paid to televise the LLWS tournament, I think that getting paid off the backs of kids is downright crazy.  If none of that money goes to any of the tournament participants, then it’s goes from crazy to downright deplorable.

Like I said, I am sort of cool with the final round being televised.  Just don’t turn it into a cash cow by televising the opening rounds and the regional finals BEFORE the LLWS starts.

It should be about the kids experiencing something that they will be able to cherish for the rest of their lives.  There should never be a price tag on it.

Categories: sports story

6 replies

  1. Are you saying that minors are being exploited by televising the event? Perhaps, but if that’s the case, then we shouldn’t televise spelling bees, gymnastic events, The Cosby Show or anything else that features children.

    ESPN televises it because they felt that it would make money. That’s what they’re in business to do. I wonder why you found it creepy.

    I find those child beauty pagents where 8 year olds are slathered with make-up and walk around in evening gowns and high heels to be creepy. Very creepy.

    But the LLWS being on TV doesn’t bother me. You’ve given me something to think about. Good post.


  2. Hey KlownBoy,

    I see where you are going with this, but for my son (last year) to be able to watch the team that beat his brains out for 4 years play up to the LLWS was a really neat thing. For both of us to be able to sit back and watch this team was a thrill. ESPN should donate a portion (I will not say all b/c that won’t happen) to LL int’l.

    • Hey Chris,

      As far as your ESPN donating some $$$ comment, exactly my point. Making money off of kids is wrong on so many levels. ESPN will never donate all proceeds to LL int’l, and they should be embarrassed about that…

  3. Why should ESPN donate all proceeds?

    They are not a charity. They are a for-profit business. If the LLWS doesn’t want to be on ESPN, all they have to do is politely say, “no thanks”. The publicity they’re getting from being on national TV has tremendous value.

    Maybe ESPN does make a donation. But, whether they do or not, they can decide what they want to program and, if they have the consent of the LLWS, I don’t see where the problem is.

    Does a pediatrician make money off kids? Yes, but he provides them with a service. ESPN provides a platform for the LLWS to showcase its talent. I’m sure that any ballet troupe or debate team in the country would kill for that kind of exposure.

    Do you protest TV shows like, “Are you smarter than a fifth grader?”.

    I’m still not sure what your beef is. ESPN broadcasts plenty of amateur athletes that don’t get paid. Is that exploitation?

  4. Um, I’m sure all those kids are like “awesome! I’m on ESPN!” You are so dumb it’s not even funny. Besides, some of those players go into the big leagues. That is why a lot of people view the LLWS in the first place. It’s not about the fact that they are kids, it’s about the fact that some people can say “Yeah, I remember that guy from like 8 or 9 years ago being in the LLWS.”

    • Maybe I am an idiot. Look at what the other posters said. It may be cool for the kids (and maybe most parents). I just know one thing, they (being ESPN) better kick a HUGE chunk of that money back to not only Little League but to ALL PARTICIPANTS as well.

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