German pay TV channel has a lot of 'Friends'

Sat.1 Comedy airing marathon of all 236 episodes

MUNICH -- "Friends" may make it into the Guinness Book of World Records when all 236 episodes of the sitcom are broadcast back-to-back on German digital pay TV channel Sat.1 Comedy beginning Saturday night.

The marathon, which will end at 10 p.m. on Wednesday after running about 100 hours straight, is being promoted as an alternative to the European soccer championships that will dominate the continent's airwaves as of Saturday. Sat.1 Comedy has a subscriber base of about 1 million viewers who can receive the channel via cable or satellite, according to a spokesman.

The spokesman said that the application for the Guinness Book of Records already has been made in the category "longest broadcast of a single television series."

"We've been working closely with Warner Bros. on this," said the spokesman, "and we've seen a bump in DVD sales since the promotion began in mid-May." The channel also is running a contest that gives away complete season box sets and merchandising in advance of the broadcast.