Monday, August 12, 2013

WVIA, ESPN3 to Broadcast Little League Challenger Division® Exhibition Game at 2013 Little League Baseball® World Series

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – Two Little League Challenger Division® teams will get a chance to share the spotlight with the 16 teams participating in the 2013 Little League Baseball® World Series with their own exhibition game. For the third straight year, that game will be broadcast to television viewers across the country, and to millions of people online.

A tradition since 2001, this year, Little Leaguers® from Illinois District 13 from the Chicago area, and California District 57 from the San Francisco area, will represent the more than 30,000 Challenger players worldwide in the exhibition game at the 2013 Little League Baseball World Series. The game is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 24 at 10:30 a.m., and will be broadcast live on northeastern Pennsylvania’s and the Central Susquehanna Valley’s PBS Station, WVIA. The game also will be carried live online by ESPN3 and on the WatchESPN app.

 “The Challenger Exhibition Game has become one of the most anticipated events at the Little League Baseball World Series,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League® Baseball and Softball President and Chief Executive Officer. “It’s wonderful that so many fans will have the opportunity to see this game live, and inspire other children with development and physical challenges to enjoy our national pastime.”

Again this year, First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania (FCFP) is providing the underwriting for the telecast. For more than 50 years, the foundation and Little League have worked on many projects together, including helping Little League acquire the original plot of land at the Little League International complex in South Williamsport. Most recently, FCFP’s Impact Fund assisted in the creation of the brand new World of Little League®Viewing Plaza.

“FCFP continually works to better our communities throughout north central Pennsylvania,” said Marshall D. Welch III, Chairman of the Board of Directors of FCFP. “The Challenger Exhibition Game is wonderful showcase of the great work done in our area, and WVIA is the perfect partner in broadcasting this game throughout our region.”

In addition to WVIA, 14 other stations are scheduled to televise the game live, including: WPSU (State College, Pa.), WQLN (Erie, Pa.), WITF (Harrisburg, Pa.), WTTW (Chicago), KQED (San Francisco), KVIE (Sacramento, Calif.), KNIT (South Bend, Ind.), WXXI (Rochester, N.Y.), WLVT (Allentown/Bethlehem, Pa.), WQED (Pittsburgh, Pa.), WHYY (Philadelphia), WCNY (Syracuse, N.Y),  WEDU (Tampa, Fla.), and KPTS (Wichita, Kan.). The Pennsylvania Cable Network will rebroadcast the game at a later date.

This will be the 13th annual Challenger Exhibition Game, which was originally fielded by Challenger Division players from local leagues in the greater Williamsport, Pa., area. It will be the first time that teams from California and Illinois will travel to South Williamsport for this game.

“WVIA is excited to once again be able to broadcast the Little League Baseball World Series Challenger Exhibition Game and continue our relationship with Little League Baseball and Softball,” said Thomas M. Currà, WVIA President and CEO. “We are thrilled to work with our public television partners throughout the United States, especially in the home communities for the Challenger teams playing here in South Williamsport, and with ESPN to present this program to a worldwide audience. We thank the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania for making this possible.”

Illinois District 13 Challenger Division, founded in1994, has 165 players and 14 teams from the combination of the Bartlett, Tri-Cities and Woodstock Little Leagues in the Greater Chicago area. The California Little League District 57 Challenger program has 100 players, and is playing in its 23rd season.

Flagship radio station for the Little League Baseball World Series, WRAK, also will broadcast the game live with Gary Chrisman and Tom Speicher, calling the action. Joining them will be Dr. Darrell Burnett, a clinical psychologist and certified sports psychologist specializing in youth sports. Mr. Burnett also serves on the Little League International Board of Directors and coordinates the Challenger Division for California Districts 55 and 58.

About Little League® and the Little League Challenger Division®
Little League® Baseball and Softball is the world’s largest organized youth sports program, with 2.4 million players and one million adult volunteers in every U.S. state and scores of other countries. Established 25 years ago, the Little League Challenger Division provides boys and girls with physical and developmental challenges, ages 4-18, or up to age 22 if still enrolled in high school, the opportunity to enjoy all that baseball has to offer. More than 30,000 children participate in more than 900 Challenger Divisions worldwide. For more information, visit and, or follow the Little League on Facebook ( or Twitter ( Follow all of the action from the nine Little League World Series at or on Facebook and Twitter at hashtag: #LLWS.