Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest 2020: Where to Watch July 4 Extravaganza

The novel coronavirus pandemic may have changed the world as we knew it, but traditions die hard and worries about the virus will be momentarily set aside as America celebrates July 4.

The annual Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Competition is as quintessential to the celebrations as parades and fireworks and despite the global pandemic, this year is no different.

The contest, however, will not take place in its traditional Coney Island home, but in a private location with strict COVID-19 guidelines in place.

Defending champion Joey "Jaws" Chestnut is once again the overwhelming favorite in the men's event, where the field has shrunk from the usual 15 contestants to just five competitors.

The 36-year-old has won the event 12 times in the last 13 years, including the last four consecutive editions after losing his crown to Matt Stonie in 2015.

Last year, the Kentucky native obliterated the competition and recorded the biggest winning margin in four years as he wolfed down 21 wieners and buns more than his closest rival.

Chestnut's has averaged a 15-hot dog winning margin during his 12 triumphs and bar a colossal upset he will retain the title for another year.

The field is similarly unbalanced among the women, where Miki Sudo is aiming to make it seven titles in a row. Since eating a career-high 41 hot dogs in 2017, Sudo 37 hot dogs in 2018 and a mere 31 last year, when she won by five hot dogs, well below her average 6.5-hot dog winning margin since 2016.

Here's everything you need to know about this year's event.

When is the contest this year?

As is tradition, the contest takes place on July 4. The women's event begins at Noon ET, before the men get stuck into the dogs shortly afterward.

Where is the contest this year?

Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the familiar surroundings of Coney Island will not host the event this year and there will be no stage on the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues, just yards away from Nathan's flagship store at 1310 Surf Ave.

Instead, the contest will take place in a private location with COVID-19 safety measures in place.

TV coverage

Wolfing down hot dogs might have nothing to do with sport but, as has been the case since 2003, the event will be broadcast by ESPN.

Coverage begins at Noon ET on ESPN with the women's event, followed up by the men's competition, with ESPN commentator Mike Golic Jr. on play-by-play commentary duties throughout the competition.

Golic's colleague Jason Fitz and Major League Eating's Richard Shea will provide analysis throughout the event.

The contest will also be replayed on ESPN2 at 4 p.m. ET, 8 p.m. ET and at 2 p.m. ET and 9 p.m. ET on ESPNews. The contest will also be replayed on July 5 on ESPNNews at 12 a.m. and 2 p.m. ET and on ESPN2 at 11 p.m. ET.

Live stream

All the actions can be followed online on WatchESPN or via the WatchESPN app.

Odds

Defending champions Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo are heavily backed to defend their titles.

According to figures compiled by BetOnline, Chestnut is a 3/50 favorite (-1,600 in moneyline terms) to defend his belt, while Sudo is a 1/100 favorite.

The over/under bar on the number of hot dogs eaten by the winner of the men's contest is set at 73.5, while for the women is at 36.5.

For those looking for prop bets, Chestnut is 2/5 to eat over 9.5 hot dogs in the first minute.

Nathan's Hot Dog, Joey Chestnut, Miki Sudo
Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Champions Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo attend the Today Show at Rockefeller Plaza on July 5, 2019 in New York City. Steven Ferdman/Getty