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Mojo Closing; 'Skools' Sold

Mojo HD, the male-targeted, ad-supported programming outlet intended to provide high-definition programming to its cable-operator owners, is being shut down by In Demand Networks, the distributor confirmed last week.

The news came the same week Cablevision Systems-owned Rainbow Media said it had sold its pioneering video-on-demand programming services, Lifeskool and Sportskool, to Joe Covey and Matthew Davidge (Lifeskool) and Grace Creek Media (Sportskool). Sale terms weren't disclosed. RBC Daniels advised Rainbow on the Sportskool transaction.

Lifeskool, which provides short-form lifestyle and entertainment programming, will operate as Mag Rack Entertainment, the brand the VOD service launched with in September 2001, Rainbow executives said. Its best-known program might be Steve Schirripa's Hungry, a cooking show starring the actor who played “Bobby Bacala” on The Sopranos. Grace Creek Media will work with USA Today Live, the television-production arm of the nation's top-selling newspaper, to develop Sportskool instructional videos.

In Demand launched two channels, under the INHD label, in September 2003, to meet growing demand for HD programming. After the two channels merged, they were renamed Mojo HD in May 2007. It also has carriage with Cablevision, Bright House Networks, Mediacom Communications and Charter Communications, a little more than 10 million subscribers in all. In Demand said the channel would go dark around Dec. 1, with some variability among systems carrying it.

Mojo HD has the cable HD rights to the NBC hit Heroes and a roster of original shows aimed at upscale male viewers, including pub-crawling Three Sheets with Zane Lamprey.