Stupid Robot Fighting is once again reaching places other sports can only dream of.
The crazy combat contest featuring robots made from just about anything, the brainchild of Te Puke's John Espin, will, for the second time, feature on ESPN2's The Ocho - a 24-hour broadcast devoted to some of the world's more, shall we say, unusual ways people find to compete with one another.
This time, though, the ante has been upped and an hour will be devoted to the 2020 Stupid Robot Fighting American Championship.
The fights were all recorded in New Zealand last year with robots designed by people in the US. They will screen on August 4 in the US, but on ESPN, part of Sky's digital sports package, at 11.30pm on Sunday.
''Believe it or not it's a 60-minute show,'' says John. ''I'm scratching my head a bit.''
He says the fights were all filmed last year with 14 robots designed by people in or from the US.
The brawls pit two life-sized puppets that look like robots against each other. The puppets hang in a frame and they are controlled by combatants pushing and pulling on poles attached to the robots' hands and feet as they fight.
American-Kiwi Sabrina Harms, who co-ordinated the recent Te Puke Business Excellence Awards, introduces the sport and provides the voice-over for the segment.
''It's been taking up a bit of time,'' says John. ''Organising the fighting was a massive undertaking and then I had to get it together in a show and in the right format - it was
pretty full on.''
John unleashed his idea of Stupid Robot Fighting on the world in 2017, and says he had no inkling about where it would go.
''It was interesting because it's extremely quirky and so you wonder.''
He says being picked up by such a massive broadcaster as ESPN twice affirms his commitment to his ideas.
''I'll regularly wake up and think 'is this a thing and should I really be carrying on with this because it's taking up a lot of time?', so the affirmation from people that literally are high- end sports broadcasters saying yes, we can use this - that's the affirmation that, if I didn't get it, there probably wouldn't be much point in carrying on.''