Netflix Movie Watching World Championship to Take Place in Times Square from October 2-7

Categories: Watching TV

Written By

September 15th, 2008

While this has nothing to do with TV, it does have me thinking about what would be the "hot dog eating contest" equivalent for TV viewing.  Either way, I don't have the stuff to be the Joey Chestnut in that competition as I can't generally sit still for more than 90 minutes at a time... Here's the release from Netflix:

8 CONTESTANTS, 56 MOVIES, 121 HOURS,THE GUINNESS WORLD RECORD ON THE LINENetflix Movie Watching World Championship to
Take Place in Times Square from October 2-7
‘The Quest for the Popcorn Bowl'

LOS GATOS, Calif., September 15, 2008 - Their eyes may be glued to the screen, but all eyes will be on the eight competitors who will participate in the Netflix Movie Watching World Championship: The Quest for the Popcorn Bowl. Hosted by Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX), the world's largest online movie rental service, the grueling movie watching marathon will begin on October 2nd in New York's Times Square and is expected to last until a new Guinness World Record®, for most consecutive hours spent watching movies, is set five days later on October 7th.

At stake is the undeniable notoriety associated with holding the title of world champion, a $10,000 cash prize, a lifetime subscription to Netflix and the first-ever Popcorn Bowl trophy.
Featuring some of the world's most accomplished endurance enthusiasts, the Netflix Movie Watching World Championship challenges contestants to watch a continuous run of movies in an effort to eclipse the existing world record of 120 hours and 23 minutes held by Ashish Sharma of Mathura, India. Mr. Sharma will be on hand to defend his title. Netflix will also give everyday people a chance to participate by inviting the submission of video auditions at www.facebook.com (keyword search: Netflix Movie Watching World Championship). Additional information, including contest rules and other mesmerizing tidbits, can also be found there.

The event will begin at 10:30 a.m. Eastern time with competitors assuming their positions in the Netflix Movie Watching Arena, a plexi-glass living room in the center of New York's Times Square. Gawkers and passersby will have ample opportunity to cheer on or watch in wonderment as each competitor creatively and, towards the finale, desperately attempts to stave off sleep.

"The Netflix Movie Watching World Championship is a showcase for die-hard movie buffs who possess incredible focus and discipline," said Leslie Kilgore, chief marketing officer for Netflix. "It combines the love of movies with the thrill of competition at the crossroads of the world."

Said Mr. Sharma, the brash, current Guinness World Record holder: "I am the one who is going to win and India will retain this world record. I will put the fire in the heart of my competitors."

The field of movie watchers includes record holders, as well as rookies to marathon movie watching. The competitors include:

  • Mr. Sharma, who watched movies for 120 hours and 23 minutes in June in Mathura, India, and is traveling to New York for the event.
  • Former three-time movie marathon record holder Claudia Wavra of Germany who will attempt to reclaim the title she lost to Mr. Sharma in June.
  • Suresh Joachim, a Canadian of Sri Lankan descent, who holds 32 Guinness World Records. Mr. Joachim is an endurance champion whose records include television viewing (69 hours, 48 minutes), dancing (100 hours), radio dj-ing (120 hours), and ironing (55 hours, 5 minutes), among other disciplines.
  • Cheryl Jones of Portland, Ore. who was a part of the team of Netflix members who broke the Guinness World Record for continuous movie watching in 2003.
  • Dallas movie buff Jeff Jones who won $250,000 on the movie edition of the popular game show series "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" in 2007.
  • New York-based competitive eating champion, Crazy Legs Conti, who also happens to be a cinephile with a penchant for ‘80s films, will join the ranks of endurance enthusiasts for a shot at the title.

Guinness World Records rules require the contestants to watch films non-stop without averting their eyes from the screen. Competitors will be given 10 minutes between each movie, or approximately every two hours, to refresh themselves. Eating, drinking, standing and stretching are allowed as long as eyes are on the screen. Gourmet, chef crafted popcorn will be provided by Dale and Thomas Popcorn (www.daleandthomas.com) throughout the event. Medical professionals will monitor the contestants' conditions throughout the event and assess if contestants are truly "watching" or are simply staring blankly at the screen.

About Netflix, Inc.

Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) is the world's largest online movie rental service, with more than eight million subscribers. For one low monthly price, Netflix members can get DVDs delivered to their homes and can instantly watch movies and TV episodes streamed to their TVs and PCs, all in unlimited amounts. Members can choose from over 100,000 DVD titles and a growing library of more than 12,000 choices that can be watched instantly. There are never any due dates or late fees. DVDs are delivered free to members by first class mail, with a postage-paid return envelope, from over 50 U.S. shipping centers. More than 95 percent of Netflix members live in areas that generally receive shipments in one business day. Netflix is also partnering with leading consumer electronics companies to offer a range of devices that can instantly stream movies and TV episodes to members' TVs from Netflix. For more information, visit www.netflix.com.


About Guinness World Records

Guinness World Records is the universally recognized authority on record-breaking achievement. First published in 1955, the annual Guinness World Records book is published in more than 100 countries and 25 languages and is one of the highest-selling books under copyright of all time with more than 3 million copies sold annually across the globe. Guinness World Records celebrated its 50th anniversary edition in 2004, a year after the sale of its 100 millionth copy. Guinness World Records also annually publishes the Gamer's Edition; a records book devoted solely to the world of computer gaming and high score record achievements. The Guinness World Records website (www.guinnessworldrecords.com) receives more than 11 million visitors a year. Guinness World Records is part of the Jim Pattison Group, one of Canada's largest privately owned companies which is a conglomerate of interests, including advertising, broadcasting, grocery stores and automotive retailing.

While this has absolutely nothing to do with TV numbers it does have me thinking about what would be the equivalent "hot dog eating contest" for TV viewing. I don't have the stuff it takes to be the Joey Chestnut of that category as I typically can't sit still more than an hour and a half at a time. Anyway, here's the release from Netflix.

 
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