ESPN will bring back “The Ocho” on Aug. 8 for the second straight year.
The channel will rebrand ESPN2 for 24 hours of obscure sports coverage, including competitive eating, dodgeball, chess boxing, kabbadi, darts, sumo wrestling and cornhole. The company tried out the same experiment on ESPNU in 2017.
The name “The Ocho” is a reference to the 2004 movie “DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story,” in which a dodgeball tournament was televised on the fictional “ESPN8: The Ocho.”
The name also explains the choice of Aug. 8 — the eighth day of the eighth month.
Sandwiched between showings of “DodgeBall” at midnight and 10 p.m. that day, the schedule includes screenings of 2006 competitive bratwurst and hamburger-eating contests, as well as some new content such as “The Saber Legion 2018: Awakening” — a full-contact sport in which players fight with lightsabers fashioned after the “Star Wars” franchise.
In the middle of the day will be airings of “E:60,” ESPN’s investigative newsmagazine show, and “SportsCenter” at 11 a.m. and noon, respectively. They are likely to be versions of the same show focused only on obscure sports.
And what is chess boxing? It’s just chess plus boxing. Players alternate between a four-minute round of chess and a round of boxing, the winner being decided by checkmate or knockout — whichever comes first.
“Best of Chess Boxing” will be broadcast at 5 p.m. Aug. 8, live on “The Ocho.”