Hot Dog Contest sticks with ESPN to 2017

Joey Chestnut won his fifth Nathan's Famous Hot Dog World Eating Championship last year. AP Photo/John Minchillo

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.

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.

This year’s event will be televised live on ESPN on Wednesday, July 4, at 3 p.m. ET. The show will include in-depth analysis of the eating competition by motorsports broadcaster Paul Page and Major League Eating’s Richard Shea, with reporting by television host Renee Herlocker. The one-hour telecast will also include coverage of the Women’s Championship. This year will be the ninth consecutive year ESPN has televised the event.