Maybe Wealth TV has its mojo working.
Just three days after cable owners pulled the plug on high-definition, male-targeted Mojo service, independent lifetstyle programmer WealthTV found out that it will have its day in court.
WealthTV, which filed a carriage agreement complaint with the Federal Communications Commission against Time Warner Cable in December, received notification Friday that the agency’s Media Bureau ordered that its argument be heard before an administrative law judge. The order, pertaining to the complaint against Time Warner, Comcast, Cox Communications and Bright House Networks, requires the ALJ to return recommended decisions to the Commission within 60 days.
WealthTV contends that TWC officials "jawboned" in carriage talks and then "stole our idea" about an upscale HD channel, which became Mojo. Time Warner Cable acknowledged talking to Wealth TV about carriage but said Wealth TV's claims were inaccurate.
On Tuesday Oct. 7, In Demand Networks, which is owned by companies affiliated with the aforementioned cable operators --. Comcast In Demand Holdings, Inc. Cox Communications Holdings, Inc and Time Warner Entertainment Advance/Newhouse Parternship. -- said they would shutter Mojo around Dec. 1.
In the statement announcing that decision, InDemand officials said Mojo, formed in May 2007 after two INHD channels were combined, was created to meet consumer demand for true-HD programming, but now plenty of such fare is available.
“WealthTV is extremely gratified that the Media Bureau of the FCC has agreed that there is sufficient evidence of prima facie violations of the law against discrimination by Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House and Cox for WealthTV to move forward with its cases against these cable companies, said Robert Herring, Wealth TV CEO and co-Founder, in a statement. “Our high-quality, high-definition programming is already enjoyed by millions of subscribers to telco video offerings and forward-looking cable companies across the nation. WealthTV looks forward to the day when our claims against these big cable operators are decisively vindicated, and we can offer our programming to millions more Americans.”
Added WealthTV coursel Kathlen Wallman: “It is especially significant that the order specifies a 60-day shot clock for a recommended decision by the ALJ because justice delayed is truly justice denied for independent programmers. WealthTV looks forward to proving up its claims before the ALJ. Timely processing of complaints like WealthTV's is paramount to ensuring that programming competition and diverse content is available to consumers."