Apparently they do. It was televised, complete with the flying camera shots, closeups, etc. and two commentators. I couldn't help but think that the commentators must have felt like losers -- no doubt they started off their careers thinking about being an on air commentator for the NFL, or major league baseball. And now they are talking about hot dog eating. What's next - shopping cart racing?
Gersh Kuntzman is a reporter who covered the Nathan’s contest in the New York Post for years. I think the Independence Day contest sparked his interest in eating competitions, which is a bizarre subject to say the least. He used to chat with Curtis Sliwa about the Nathan’s contest. He did his research, too. He could discuss eating competitions from all over the world. He got to know a lot of these people. The best answer to “Why?” seemed to be “Because.” They really do train for it.
From what I understand, in Japan competitive eating is a big sport, and they can make good money.