JULY 4th Live on ESPN

ESPN and to Offer Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest Live July 4

For the sixth consecutive year, ESPN and ESPNHD will televise the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest live from Coney Island, N.Y., Saturday, July 4, at 12 p.m. ET. The one-hour high definition telecast will include Paul Page providing bite-by-bite action with analysis from Richard Shea of Major League Eating and reporting by Rob Stone. George Shea, also from MLE, will emcee the event. will offer an exclusive live simulcast of the event.

The event will showcase approximately 20 competitors, including Joey Chestnut, who beat six-time champion Takeru Kobayashi in a five-dog overtime eat-off last year after both ate 59 Nathan's Famous hot dogs and buns in the 10-minute regulation contest. It was Chestnut’s second straight title. Click here to see the epic overtime battle.

Among other competitors are: Crazy Legs Conti, "Eater X" Tim Janus, Sonya Thomas, Pat "Deep Dish" Bertoletti, Marco "Mongo" Marquez and Micah "Wing Kong" Collins.

“We look forward to showcasing the very best in the world of competitive eating at its marquee event - The Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest,” said Jason Bernstein, ESPN Senior Director of Programming and Acquisitions. “In fact, you could say we ‘relish’ the opportunity to bring this event to fans across the world.”

This is Stone’s first year reporting table-side at the contest, but not his first on-air encounter with food. For ESPN’s telecast of the Nevada and New Mexico State college football game on Nov. 2, 2007, Stone visited Paul W. Bosland, the Regents Professor & Director of the Chile Pepper Institute, and his class at a chile farm on the campus of NMSU. Without hesitation, Stone bit into a Bhut Jolokia, the world’s hottest chile pepper – not once, but twice. Click here to see Stone shed some tears.

In preparation for the annual event, ESPNU will air the last five contests on Friday, July 3:

Time Year

12:00-1:00AM 2008
1:00-2:00AM 2007
2:00-3:00AM 2006
3:00-4:00AM 2005
4:00-5:00AM 2004

The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is held each year on July 4 at the original Nathan’s Famous location at Surf and Stillwell avenues in Coney Island, N.Y. ESPN first televised competitive eating in 2004, providing live coverage of the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest on the fourth of July. The event has delivered strong ratings for ESPN, and it was ESPN’s most-viewed program of the day the past two years.