Little League partners with ESPN
Little League International recently announced a deal with ESPN for $60 million to broadcast its youth sports games for the next eight years. Under this contract, every U.S. Regionals and World Series game will be played on the network until 2022.
The Little League began its relationship with ABC in 1963, and the coverage of games continued to grow over the years. Today, the Little League is a multi-million dollar industry with an average of 911,000 viewers.
Because of this success and the influx of millions of dollars each year to Little League, some believe that it's time to pay the players.
"This is content aimed at a critical demographic the company can profit off, while also making marketing and branding inroads," Yahoo Sports columnist Dan Wetzel wrote. "ESPN isn't showing these games out of the goodness of its heart. If it weren't profitable, it would show something else."
While some may believe that youth playing in Little League sports are too young to receive financial benefits from playing, these players are the cream of the crop in their respective sports.