For the second year in a row, ESPN will suspend regularly scheduled programming on one of its networks to bring fans the finest in seldom-seen sports from around the globe.
ESPN8 “The Ocho” Presented by KFC Battle of the Buckets—serving alternative sports fans since 1999 2017—will take the place of ESPN2 on Wednesday, August 8 (8/8), featuring a full 24 hours of fun, off-beat programming beginning and ending with a showing of the inspiration behind it all, “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.”
In addition, supporting content will be available across ESPN platforms including ESPN.com, ESPN the Magazine and the ESPN flagship and ESPN Front Row Social handles.
KFC will sponsor all 24 hours of programming in a series of vignettes that will run throughout the day. Specifics around the sponsorship will be released in the coming days.
“These Sports Don’t Build Character, They Reveal It…”
- “Ouchtown. Population: you, bro.”
- US Open Ultimate Championships: A self-officiating competition with two teams on a field similar to a football field, but the object used is a disc. The objective of the game is to catch a pass in the opponent’s end zone.
- Spikeball East Tour Series: Spikeball is essentially volleyball around a small trampoline instead of a net. Two teams of two players pound a small ball off the trampoline and must avoid letting the ball hit the ground.
- Cornhole: ACL Pro Invitational: The ACL Pro Invitational brings together the best cornhole players from around the United States to compete for over $70,000 in cash prizes.
- Major League Eating: The 2006 Johnsonville Brat Eating World Championship and the 2006 Krystal World Hamburger Eating Championship highlight the world’s best iron stomachs.
- World Championship of Ping Pong: In its eighth year, the World Championship of Ping Pong has played an important role in the resurgence of the sport and elevating it to the international television stage.
- Fenway Hurling Classic: A series of hurling matches played at Fenway Park in Boston.
- Amazing Games:
- Spain: Running of the Bulls, Human Castle and Grass Cutting.
- Korea: War of the Wagons, Korean Wrestling and Blitz Chess.
- England: Lawn Mower Racing, Cumberland Wrestling and Jousting.
- Premier League Darts: The tournament, launched in 2005, features 10 of the best players from the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) circuit competing in a round-robin format.
- Kabaddi: A contact team sport that originated in India involving two teams and a unique rule. The goal is for each team’s “raider” to tag as many of the opposing team’s players as possible and return to his/her home half all while taking just a single breath.
- The Saber Legion 2018: Awakening: The world’s biggest custom dueling organization founded in 2015 highlighting the best in high-level light saber combat.
- World SUMO Challenge: 24 World Class International SUMO wrestlers compete at Madison Square Garden.
- Women’s Flat Track Derby: Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby is a fast-paced contact team sport spotlighting speed, strategy and athleticism. The flat track style of roller derby rolled onto the scene in 2001and has grown to more than 400 leagues worldwide per the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA).
- Chess Boxing: Yes, you read that correctly. Chess boxing is a hybrid sport started in 2003 that is designed to test both the body and the mind with three minute rounds of each sport for a total of 11 rounds.
- Moxie Games: A relatively new event that combines a variety of sports into one, such as dodgeball and juggling, martial arts and volleyball, and table tennis and soccer.
In addition to 24 hours of televised alternative sports programming, there will be content available via ESPN.com, ESPN the Magazine and various social handles.
- ESPN The Magazine: The magazine’s college football preview issue will introduce readers to the most crucial corners of The Ocho universe in a two-page spread highlighting sports such as saber combat, chess boxing, cornhole, kabaddi, spikeball, hurling and dodgeball. In addition, ESPN the Magazine writer David Flemming traveled to San Francisco to sit down with self-appointed Jedi master Alain Bloch to discuss his quest to win The Saber Legion world title in early August. The piece will be available digitally on Wednesday, Aug. 8
- ESPN.com: Throughout the duration of the takeover, ESPN.com will feature a live blog of the day chronicling the must-see highlights, results and social reactions. In addition, an illustrated guide to The Ocho will be available as well as a Q&A with Rawson Marshall Thurber—the director of “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.”
- Social: Highlights, feature videos and behind the scenes perspectives of the making of ESPN8: The Ocho will be available via the ESPN flagship and ESPN Front Row social handles. Rumor has it that Cotton McKnight may even show his face.
Rad Specialized Programming
- E:60 on ESPN8: Jeremy Schaap hosts a special edition of E:60 on ESPN8: The Ocho. Join Schaap as he shares some of the most unique stories from the E:60 vault including frog jumping, catfish hunting, Japanese monster wrestling and cheese rolling, to name a few.
- SportsCenter on ESPN8: A highlight driven program hosted by Kenny Mayne displaying the very best in seldom seen sports.
— ESPN Front Row (@ESPNFrontRow) August 1, 2018