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Fox News Aids 'Friends’ With Contest

Fox News Channel hopes to entice more young viewers to Fox & Friends by repeating a success from last year: a sweepstakes offering a viewer a chance to appear on the morning show.

When the network first executed a similar promotion last year, it attracted nearly 400,000 entries, 200,000 of which were unique views of the channel’s Web site, according to senior vice president of affiliate sales Tim Carry.

Operators in 145 local systems serving 22 million households signed up to support the effort last year, he said.

This year, affiliates serving 24.5 million subscribers have agreed to locally promote the sweepstakes.

To participate, cable systems must agree to schedule a minimum of 350 promotional spots during a three-week period. Those spots are placed in the networks that rate highest in the 25- to 55-year-old demographic, including CNN, ESPN, TBS, TNT, USA Network, Lifetime, Court TV, TLC and A&E Network.

To lower the demographic category, spots can also be placed on FX, E!, Spike TV, CMT, MTV, Comedy Central and Nick at Nite.

Consumers can compete for a sweepstakes prize including a four-day, three-night trip for two to New York, an appearance on Fox & Friends, a Palm Treo Smartphone and a year-long subscription to MobiTV. Palm, MobiTV and Starwood Resorts are the national sponsors of the sweepstakes.

Prizes for affiliate-level participation are a choice of either a trip for two to New York or the Treo with MobiTV.

Local affiliates can choose to offer one of those prizes to local viewers, or use them as an advertiser reward or an internal incentive for the sales team.

Systems are provided with tune-in spots that can be tagged by the cable operator or may direct viewers to local advertisers supporting the sweepstakes, promotional planners and counter displays and window signs to provide to advertisers.

Viewers can enter the contest once a day via the morning show’s Web site (www.foxandfriends.com).

Last year, the response to the sweepstakes was recorded internally, which made for a job bigger than Fox News Channel executives had expected, Carry said.

This year, Fox News Channel contracted with an outside company to control the entry process.