Nathan's July 4th ESPN Broadcast Sets Viewership Record
Record-Setting Viewership for Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest
ESPN's telecast of the 2011 Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest averaged 1,949,000 viewers to become the most-viewed competition ever. Viewership for this year's telecast was up 16 percent compared to last year's 1,677,000 viewers. The corresponding 1.3 rating is tied with 2006 and 2007 as the highest rating for the contest. Including two same-day re-airs across ESPN and ESPN2, nearly nine million viewers tuned in to see Joey Chestnut and Sonya Thomas win their respective championships. ESPN first televised the competition in 2004.
Additionally, unique viewers via ESPN3.com's simulcast of the event were up 189 percent and total minutes consumed were up 321 percent over last year.