Local fans can follow Tunkhannock in the Little League Softball World Series as long as the team remains in title contention.
Little League fans around the world have access to nearly twice as many games this year with the April launch of ESPN+, a subscription streaming service.
The expanded Little League broadcast coverage is most noticeable in softball with more than 100 games now available on ESPN’s various networks, including other age groups and regional tournaments on the way to the World Series.
ESPN already broadcasts the entire Little League Baseball World Series from Williamsport on its television networks.
The combination of ESPN’s television networks and ESPN+ will make all of the softball from Portland, Oregon Aug. 8-15 available with the exception of four consolation games to determine third through 10th place.
“Since first televising our Little League Baseball and Softball World Series on ESPN, we have been seeking additional opportunities to promote the benefits of participation of our young female athletes around the world,” Little League President and CEO Stephen D. Keener said, according to a story posted on Little League’s website. “ESPN+ will serve as a great platform … “
This is the first time that Little League Softball World Series and its regional tournaments for the major (11-12-year-old division) are covered in their entirety by ESPN. With video broadcasts being produced for every game, that means replay is also being used this summer, the first for any youth softball organization. It also meant that Tunkhannock fans, who remained at home, had access to their team’s East Regional games in Bristol, Conn.
The ESPN networks, including the new ESPN+, are broadcasting a total of 230 Little League baseball and softball games over a stretch of 37 days in Juy and August.
ESPN+, which was launched April 12, is available on a subscription basis for $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year, and is available to anyone in the United States, regardless of location or cable or satellite subscription status.
Tunkhannock will represent the East Regional in Pool A, one of two pools of five teams each. In pool play, it will go against Canada, Aug. 8 at 1 p.m. Eastern; Europe/Africa champion Northwest Czech Republic from Prague, Aug. 9 at 10 p.m.; Southeast champion Daniel Boone Little League from Gray, Tenn., August 10 at 7 p.m.; and West champion Kirkland, Wash. Aug. 11 at noon.
The top four teams in each five-team pool will play in the Aug. 13 quarterfinals with the 1 and 4 p.m. games on ESPN 2 and the 7 and 10 p.m. on ESPNews.
The semifinals are Aug. 12 on ESPN 2 with the championship game Aug. 15 at 10 p.m. on ESPN. The game is held the night before the start of the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport.