ESPN category

The ESPN schedule for July 4 now lists live coverage of the men's & women's Nathan's finals on ESPN3. Coverage of the women's contest will begin at 11:15 am Eastern. ESPN2 will show the men's contest tape delayed at 2 pm.
The Atlantic has a report on last month's Eastern Shore Wing War asking the question "Is Competitive Eating a Sport?" containing quotes from Crazy Legs Conti, Juliet Lee, "Wild" Bill Myers and Eric "Badlands" Booker. Jason Bernstein of ESPN is also interviewed; the decline of competitive eating ratings and coverage on that network is not mentioned.

2014 Nathan’s finals to be tape-delayed on ESPN2

update June 6 The new poll asks what change you would like to see to have the Nathan’s finals covered live.

The July 4 TV Schedule for the ESPN networks is now available and lists the broadcast of the Nathan’s finals at 2pm eastern on ESPN 2. This means the men’s contest will be tape delayed (as in 2012) since the event starting time is noon eastern.

At that time ESPN will be showing the men’s Wimbledon semifinals and ESPN2 will be showing the first quarterfinal of the 2014 World Cup. (If that competition goes to overtime / penalty kicks, it will cut into the Nathan’s program). A rebroadcast is scheduled for July 6 at 1pm eastern.

ESPNU will be showing a rerun of the NCAA Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships, so the Nathan’s finals could be shown live on that channel. The schedule does not list the women’s contest; hopefully that will be added.

The July 4 schedule on appears to confirm that the telecast will be tape-delayed.

update The early World Cup quarterfinal on July 4 will have a team from group E or F vs. G or H. Germany vs. France appears to be the most likely matchup. The USA could play at that time in the extremely unlikely event they win Group G.

Comments (23)

Tim Janus (without makeup) and Crazy Legs Conti competed in a pizza eating contest on Mike & Mike on ESPN2/ESPN Radio this morning against Mike Greenberg. They (and Pete Davekos) also competed in a wing eating contest on the program against Mike Golic in 2008.  
Jimmy Dykes, who has served as a reporter in broadcasts of the Nathan's hot dog eating finals on ESPN, has been named head women's basketball coach at the University of Arkansas.
Joey Chestnut has been nominated for the "Outstanding New Limit" category of ESPN's Sport Science Newton Awards, which will be announced tomorrow on the 5 pm eastern edition of Sportcenter. One of Joey's rivals for the category is marathon swimmer Diana Nyad, who wrote an anti-competitive eating column for the Huffington Post last year.

Nathan’s Television Ratings 2004-2007, 2009-2013

Here are the official television ratings for 9 of the 10 years that Nathan’s has been televised on ESPN / ESPN2. (I have not been able to find 2008). Results are from SportsMediaWatch, NY Times and

Year Rating # Viewers (000) Network
2004 ? 926 ESPN
2005 ? 860 ESPN
2006 ? 1,460 ESPN
2007 1.3 1,632 ESPN
2008 ? ? ESPN
2009 1.0 1,340 ESPN
2010 1.0 1,677 ESPN
2011 1.1 1,949 ESPN
2012 0.8 1,299 ESPN (tape delayed)
2013 0.7 1,146 ESPN2


In the Marie Claire Australia about female competitive eaters, the claim is made that the broadcast on ESPN2 received a higher rating than the major league baseball game on July 4. That is an interesting assertion since no baseball game was televised on ESPN / ESPN2 on that day. Sports Business Daily has a list of ratings from early July; the July 7 baseball game had a higher rating than the Nathan's programming (1.3 vs. 0.7).

2013 St. Elmo’s Shrimp Cocktail eating contest

update Dec 12 He Eats She Drinks has a contest video

Crazy Legs Conti has a blog entry for the Huffington Post

update Dec 10 CT News has a contest report

update #2 The Indy Star also has a gallery. WISH TV has an article and video. Big City Photography has a facebook gallery.

update The Indy Star has a video

The top 6: (Part 1 | Part 2)
1) Joey Chestnut 9.25 lb 8 minutes
2) Yasir Salem 5 lb.
3) Crazy Legs Conti 4.25
4) Matt Raible 4
5) Tracy Goode 3
6) Craig “The Doctor” Evans 2

This might be the coldest outdoor contest in IFOCE/MLE history. The current temperature in Indianapolis is 25F

Joey Chestnut appeared on ESPN College GameDay earlier today and picked the Big 10 championship game.

Ray Steele has interviews with Joey Chestnut and Tracy Goode.

Comments (12)

According to, Tim "Eater X" Janus appears in the background of the latest "This Is SportCenter" commercial on ESPN (around the 15 second mark).
Halftime promotion Little Arlene, billed as the "hot dog queen" made a brief appearance in "Free Spirits", a documentary about the St. Louis Spirits of the ABA that debuted tonight on ESPN. According to a 1986 LA Times article, she ate 23 hot dogs, 22 large slices of pizza and 16 large Cokes during a Philadelphia 76ers game.
In an outtake video from ESPN's Around the Horn, Pablo Torres talks about his attempt at the Fifth Third burger challenge available at West Michigan Whitecaps games.
The Hollywood Reporter announces that the broadcast of the 2013 Nathan's finals on ESPN2 attracted 1.15 million viewers and a 0.7 rating, a decline from the 0.8 rating the tape-delayed broadcast received in 2012 (# of 2012 viewers not specified). The last live coverage on ESPN in 2011 attracted 1.949 million viewers.
ESPN Sportsnation will host an online chat session with Joey Chestnut today at 2:30 ET / 11:30a PT.

ESPN2 to show Sportscenter instead of Nathan’s womens finals

The 2013 Nathan’s TV schedule is now out (scroll down to “Great Events”). ESPN2 will start live coverage of the men’s finals at noon EDT while ESPN televises Wimbledon. The broadcast will be rerun on ESPN at 1 pm EDT and 7 pm EDT and on ESPN2 at 5 pm EDT.

The women’s finals will be webcast on starting at 11:30. ESPN2 will be showing Sportscenter at that time, so the women’s finals could be televised live if the Sportscenter starting at 7 am EDT on that channel was truncated from five hours to 4:30.

Comments (19)

The television schedule for this year's Wimbledon tournament lists that ESPN will televise the women's semifinals from 9am - 1pm eastern on July 4, which will conflict with live coverage of the Nathan's finals on that channel. Last year's Nathan's finals were webcast live on and tape-delayed on ESPN. update June 14 An page about the finals (which lists the defending women's champion as Sonya Morgan) says they will be televised live on ESPN2.
Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest is #2 on Awful Announcing's ranking of ESPN alternate programming. (The World Series of Poker is #1).
ABC15 has a news video segment about Jeff "The Beastman" Butler. The accompanying article claims that the Nathan's telecast on ESPN will be tape-delayed again this year at 3 pm Eastern (but shown live on
Videos of the eating contest held in New Orleans the day before the Super Bowl betweeen writers Joe House and "Cousin" Sal Iacono have been posted to youtube: contest | bonus clip - cheating | bonus - showing off | outtakes
The episode of Cheap Seats where the Sklar brothers commentate on ESPN's 2005 telecast of the US Open of Competitive Eating can be viewed on youtube.
The episode of ESPN's Cheap Seats where the Sklar brothers commentate on the telecast of the 2004 Nathan's finals can be viewed on youtube.
The gambling website is accepting bets on an eating contest to be held today in New Orleans between (ESPN) personalities Joe House and "Cousin" Sal Iacono. (video preview | podcast preview | "House Eats" video #2).
In's list of 2013 predictions, "Cousin" Sal Iacono claims that Joey Chestnut will become a vegetarian after being held hostage by PETA.
In his podcast series, Bill Simmons occasionally mentioned his friend Joe House's stomach capacity. A new video series for will document this ability. The debut episode of "House Eats" was recorded at Emma Jean's Holland Burger Cafe in Victorville, CA. In a new podcast Joe House discusses the project at the 47 minute mark.
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