ESPN has reached an agreement with Major League Eating, in conjunction with Nathan’s Famous, Inc., that provides the network exclusive rights to televise a live, one-hour show of the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest each year through 2017.
You know why this is a big deal? According to the release:
The event consistently generates powerful ratings and has become a holiday viewing tradition for millions of Americans. Last year’s July 4th telecast set a viewership record with 1.95 million live viewers and nearly nine million viewers total on July 4, including two re-airs.
Seriously? Perhaps ESPN is using the number of people who eat hot dogs on the Fourth? Really, we don’t have anything better to do than watch people gorge themselves with hot dogs?
And here’s my favorite line from the release:
More than twenty-five eating athletes from around the world will compete for the respective Men’s and Women’s July 4thHot Dog Eating World Championship Belts.
Athletes? Yes, these definitely are finely trained athletes.
Coming soon: A 24/7 hot dog eating channel.