Cable Operators

IFC Sets Moore Special

10/25/2004 11:15 AM Eastern

Those who have already seen Michael Moore's controversial Fahrenheit 9/11 film can see most of the rest of what was supposed to be a pre-election pay-per-view special from the President Bush-bashing filmmaker by tuning in The Independent Film Channel Friday night.

The independent-film proponent will air Fahrenheit 9/11: A Movement in Time Oct. 29 at 10 p.m. (EST). According to executives at IFC -- the network’s sister company, IFC Films, and Lions Gate Entertainment distributed the film -- the half-hour special, comprising clips from the film and reaction from notables in the worlds of politics, journalism and entertainment, was produced by and for IFC and would have premiered as part of The Michael Moore Pre-Election Special PPV show Nov. 1.

That special was slated to run the night before the presidential election on PPV and video-on-demand purveyor In Demand for $9.95. However, In Demand, citing "legitimate business and legal concerns," decided not to air the special in mid-October -- a move Moore said was made in deference to pressure from top Republicans.

Meanwhile, Ken Sunshine Consultants, a media-advisory company to Fellowship Adventure Group -- the ad hoc company established by Harvey and Bob Weinstein after The Walt Disney Co. refused to let the Weinsteins' Miramax Film Corp. distribute the film -- issued a statement declaring its intention to enforce copyright protection in the wake of a local cable-access show on a Time Warner Cable system serving Binghamton, N.Y., airing Fahrenheit 9/11 Oct. 20

"Neither Michael Moore, Fellowship Adventure Group, nor any other entity associated with Fahrenheit 9/11 has authorized cable/public-access broadcasts of this film,” the company said. “Any broadcast of Fahrenheit 9/11 is in violation of copyright law. Fellowship Adventure Group will actively enforce its rights to protect Fahrenheit 9/11 from copyright infringement."

Mark Benoit, a spokesman for the media-advisory company, said we "want to get the word out that it's not OK for public-access stations to air the film. Any public-access show that does that is violating copyright law."

Benoit said Ken Sunshine Consultants "had tried to contact" Time Warner Cable's corporate offices in Stamford, Conn., Friday following an AP report indicating that Wilton Vought -- who has produced a two-hour public-access show on Time Warner’s system in Binghamton for more than one year -- apparently programmed the Fahrenheit 9/11 tape into the company's automated system, and the film aired.

A Time Warner spokesman in Stamford said the company had no record of receiving a phone call from Ken Sunshine Consultants. MSO officials in Binghamton could not be reached by press time.

September
October