Starz! Set to Bow 'Lord' Sweepstakes

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The pay TV debut of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
— set for Dec. 14 on Starz! — will be linked to the theatrical debut of the film trilogy's second installment through a promotional sweepstakes.

The "Lord of the Rings: Passport to Adventure" contest — designed to drive new Starz! subscriptions — will run from Nov. 19 through Feb. 15. It will be supported by on-air promos directing viewers to register online at the Starz SuperPak Web site (www.starzsuperpak.com), said Starz Encore Group LLC director of national promotions Jennifer Winzerling.

Customers who sign up for Starz! or Starz Super Pak during the promotion window via direct-broadcast satellite provider Dish Network or Charter Communications Inc. cable systems will automatically be entered.

Grand prize in the sweepstakes is a 14-day trip for two to New Zealand (where the Rings
trilogy was shot), as well as Fiji and Hawaii. Two first-prize winners will get digital cameras.

Lesser awards range from watches to game sets to T-shirts — all merchandising tie-ins to New Line Cinema's upcoming The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

On Dec. 11 at 11:45 p.m., Starz! also will run a behind-the-scenes featurette, looking at the production of The Two Towers. The 15-minute special, which also will include interviews, will be repeated throughout the month.

Sister services Encore, WAM! America's Kidz Channel and Action will run a short-form preview of Towers, including clips from the film and some brief commentary.

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