For the eighth consecutive year, ESPN will televise the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest from Coney Island, N.Y., Monday at 12 p.m. ET. Paul Page will provide bite-by-bite commentary with Major League Eating’s Shea brothers (Rich and George) and reporter Renee Herlocker. The competition will also be available live via ESPN3.com and ESPN Mobile TV.
The one-hour telecast will include the 10-minute, all-you-can-eat contest featuring eaters from around the world including American Joey Chestnut, who has won the previous four events. Chestnut is the world record holder having consumed 68 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes during the 2008 competition.
In addition to the men’s contest, the first-ever Women’s Championship will be held live at 11:30 a.m. exclusively on ESPN3.com. Highlights of the competition will be shown during ESPN’s one-hour telecast. Sonya Thomas, the women’s world record holder with 41 hot dogs and buns, is favored among the female competitors.
ESPN telecast highlights include:
§ a Sport Science piece on Joey “Jaws” Chestnut
o outtakes according to host John Brenkus – the bite of competitive eaters measured at 280 pounds of force, stronger than that of a German Shepherd; competitive eaters dunk food in water, making it easier to chew and digest by essentially simulating saliva; competitive eaters stand and bounce up and down, using gravity to accelerate the process of moving food through the esophagus; Chestnut trains his stomach to increase by roughly 400 percent from its ordinary volume (one liter to four liters); and 30 hot dogs is the equivalent of 9,000 calories, meaning Chestnut can consume in five minutes the amount of calories the average person ingests in five days;
§ for the first time, a heart monitor placed on eater Pat Bertoletti, which will be checked three to four times during the 10-minute contest;
§ aerial shots from the Hangar One Blimp;
§ interactive viewer polling throughout the show.
Over the last five years, ESPN’s coverage of the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest has averaged a 1.1 rating and nearly 1.5 million viewers. It is regularly the network’s highest-rated and most-viewed program of the day.