COLUMBIA, Md., and SPRINGFIELD, Va. - Six Washington-area residents are training for a unique marathon - resting their eyes, stocking plenty of coffee and flexing their "remote" hand. "Remote" hand?
That's right. These committed contestants are preparing to compete -- on behalf of local nonprofit organizations -- in the Verizon FiOS TV Marathon this weekend at the Columbia and Springfield malls.
The Marathon men and women will attempt to out-watch each other over Verizon's all-fiber-optic video network. Contestants will be able to monitor the competition at either mall, and the event will continue round the clock until the "Last Person Watching" is declared.
The nonprofit chosen by the contestant who watches the most consecutive hours of TV will receive $100 per hour watched, up to $5,000. Charities of runner-up contestants will receive $1,000. In addition, the winning contestant will receive a high-definition TV.
Contestants will be watching content provided by TV network partners, including MTV, ESPN, Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, Starz, Si TV and Fox. Partners will also be providing premium giveaways during the event.
3 p.m., Friday, May 26, Contestants are introduced at each mall location;
Noon, Saturday, May 27 Marathon contest begins; continues until "Last Person Watching" is declared (or Monday, May 29 at 2 p.m., whichever comes first)
Columbia Mall, Columbia, Md.
Springfield Mall, Springfield, Va.
Verizon launched Fios TV in the Washington metropolitan area in late 2005. It is available in Howard County. Md., and in Herndon, Reston, Falls Church and much of Fairfax County in Virginia. FiOS TV is designed to be a formidable competitor to cable and satellite, offering a broad collection of all-digital programming with more than 350 total channels, nearly two dozen high-definition channels, thousands of video On Demand choices and more. It is delivered over Verizon's all-fiber-optic network, which has industry-leading quality and reliability.