With many sports on pause as a result of COVID-19, the TV schedule for Fourth of July is a bit limited. Fans can start off their day with the English Premier League (EPL) as NBC Sports carries four matchups on the holiday.
Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest continues its annual tradition on ESPN at 12 p.m. Eastern. The PGA Tour Rocket Mortgage Classic tees off at 1 p.m. Eastern on the Golf Channel then switches over to CBS beginning at 3 p.m.
Webb Simpson and Chris Kirk headed into the weekend tied for the lead at 12-under. Kirk sitting atop the leaderboard is inspiring given the golfer paused his career for seven months to focus on his battle with depression and alcohol abuse.
“I definitely had feelings for a number of months there that I just had no desire to play golf,” Kirk told ESPN. “It wasn’t that, ‘Oh, I hate golf, I never want to do this again,’ I just had no real desire to do it. I felt busy working on what I was working on. But then eventually I started playing golf around home about once a week or so and pretty shortly after that, my love for the game came back and love for competing after that.”
July Marks a Key Month for the Return of Sports
The good news for sports fans is July features target return dates for several leagues to resume play. The MLS and NBA are both attempting to create a makeshift bubble at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex. The MLS has dealt with a number of positive COVID-19 tests but is still planning to kick of the MLS is Back tournament on Wednesday, July 8.
Basketball will resume on July 30 as NBA teams play eight “seeding games” to conclude the regular season and determine the playoff matchups. Major League Baseball’s Opening Day is scheduled to take place on July 23 at ballparks across the country but without fans in the stands. Most NFL teams are scheduled to begin training camp on July 28.
With coronavrius cases spiking across the country, each league’s plans feel a bit fragile, especially as players continue to test positive in all of the previously mentioned leagues. The NBA will have the benefit of watching the MLS play games for a few weeks before they resume play. Both leagues are hoping players will be safer at the Disney campus than they would be in their home cities.
“Certainly, if we have a lot of cases, we’re going to stop,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver told Time. “You cannot run from this virus. I am absolutely convinced that it will be safer on this campus than off this campus, because there aren’t many other situations I’m aware of where there’s mass testing of asymptomatic employees. So in some ways this is maybe a model for how other industries ultimately open.”
Here is a look at the July 4th sports calendar.
Sports TV Schedule: Fourth of July
|Norwich vs. Brighton||7:30 a.m. NBC Sports|
|Man United vs. Bournemouth||10 a.m. NBC Sports|
|Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest||12 p.m. ESPN|
|Wolves vs. Arsenal||12:30 p.m. NBC Sports|
|PGA Tour Rocket Mortgage Classic||1-3 p.m. Golf Channel|
|Chelsea vs. Watford||3 p.m. NBC Sports|
|NASCAR Xfinity Series: Pennzoil 150||3 p.m. NBC|
|PGA Tour Rocket Mortgage Classic||3-6 p.m. CBS|