Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest Feed Cut Out on ESPN and Fourth of July Viewers are Furious

by Suzanne Halliburton

Joey “Jaws” Chestnut winning the Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest is a glorious Fourth of July tradition. But fans were furious as ESPN’s technology issues got in the way at the juiciest moment.

Chestnut consumed 76 dogs to win Nathan’s Hot Dog contest and the huge Mustard Belt Trophy. ESPN sent out the good news in an all-caps Tweet. “JOEY CHESTNUT WITH A NEW WORLD RECORD 76 HOTDOGS IN 10 MINUTES.”

That’s his 14th time taking Nathan’s Hot Dog top honors. So ESPN used a goat emoji. Because when it comes to speedy eating of hot dogs, we all can agree Chestnut is the greatest of all time. If cramming hot dogs in your mouth was an Olympic event, Chestnut would be the entire medal podium.

But here’s a great big but in the Nathan Hot Dog result. The feed cut out several times, so only the fans on hand at Maimonides Park Stadium on Coney Island saw the winning moment. The TV audience missed out on this grand Fourth of July tradition.

Fans Were Mad That Nathan’s Hot Dog Feed Cut Out at Critical Moment

Fans let ESPN have it in a flurry of furious tweets.

One viewer Tweeted: So pumped I got to see 40 of those 76 dogs! Thanks.

And here’s more reactions to the Nathan’s Hot Dog contest being cut out. Fans wanted to celebrate Joey Chestnut. If only we could’ve watched.

A fan addressed a tweet to the sponsor writing, “@originalnathans thanks @espn for ruining the live coverage of the hot dog eating contest. way to go, not. #espn#joeychestnut#hotdogs”

Another fan: “Well, Joey Chestnut just broke his own hot dog eating record, and ESPN just destroyed their reputation by messing up their signal.”

One viewer was upset that the feed was replaced by commercials.

“So glad espn cared more about Bounty commercials and advertising dollars than showing the single greatest glizzy feat known to man on the 4th of July. Thanks. Waited 365 days for this all for you to show commercials.”

There’s more: “ESPN is so trash. How do you lose the feed with 2 minutes left in the contest?!”

Chestnut set the previous record for most dogs at the Nathan’s Hot Dog contest last year. He consumed 75. But because of the pandemic, there was no live audience. Instead, Chestnut and the other contestants competed at Nathan’s headquarters.

The New York Post reported that Chestnut ranks No. 1 in the world in the Major League Eating rankings. (We didn’t know that’s a thing. Is it only for hot dogs?)

And Chestnut is such a dominant consumer of hot dogs that he’s won every Nathan’s Hot Dog contest but one since 2006. He’s only 37, so no doubt, he’ll keep rocking the gastro world for years, so long as his digestive system holds up.