ESPN category

Youtube has a mini-mockumentary about the Championship Eating Network. The fictional channel is used as an example of a minimally-viewed offering which is required to be included in cable packages and is part of Consumer Action's campaign against the practice of bundling. (via
Bill "El Wingador" Simmons is mentioned in Bill Simmons' latest column in a section about people with the same name as famous sports figures. The "Sports Guy" does not think the connection works since he claims to have never used cocaine, and "El Wingador" went to prison for drug distribution.
ESPN has a blog entry about University of Virginia football players competing in the Munchin for Memory hot dog eating contest on Sunday to benefit Alzheimer's research. Fullback Vincent Croce was the runner up with 11 hot dogs.
UFC champion Ronda Rousey faced off against sports radio host Mike Golic in a marshmallow eating challenge.
Matt Stonie announces he will appear on ESPN2's SportsNation at 3pm EDT today and will face Michelle Beadle and Marcellus Wiley in a bacon eating contest. update A video of the appearance is available
Oregon Live has an article and video about Takeru Kobayashi's appearance at yesterday's Portland State game where he ate 16 slices of pizza in under 2 minutes. The appearance made #10 on ESPN's top 10 list for October 18. update A video of the top 10 list is available (via Robbie Parness)
The Cheap Seats episodes where the Sklar brothers commentate on the 2004 Nathan's finals and 2005 US Open of Competitive Eating can be viewed on youtube.
The National Buffalo Wing-Eating Championship will be web-streamed on ESPN3 on August 31 at 5 pm eastern.
SportsMediaWatch reports that the tape-delayed Nathan's finals set a viewership record on ESPN2 of 2.8 million. The audience was boosted by the World Cup match preceding it, which had 4.9 million viewers.
A press release announces that ESPN has extended its agreement with Nathan's Famous to televise its hot dog eating contest until 2024.

2014 Nathan’s finals live on ESPNews

The July 4 schedule for ESPNews shows that the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest will be shown live on that channel starting at noon. Only the men’s contest will be televised; ESPNews will show SportsCenter at 11:30. There will be three tape-delayed showings of the contest on ESPN2 on July 4, 5 and 6 and ESPN Classic will show 6 contests from previous years on July 4. The main ESPN channel has no listings of the 2014 Nathan’s contest, this would make it the first year since 2003 it was not televised on that channel.

A listing of MLE programming on ESPN networks follows:

(Nathan’s finals viewer numbers from this post)

Comments (22)

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.
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