Broadcaster drops Moore's anti-Republican show

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America's election countdown has led to a battle of the airwaves after a screening of the controversial documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 was cancelled.

Michael Moore, who made the film, has threatened to sue a cable company over its decision to cancel a three-hour screening on the eve of the election. The channel, In Demand, was due to broadcast his documentary as well as interviews with politically active celebrities as part of The Michael Moore Pre-Election Special on 1 November. It said it cancelled the screening because of "legitimate business and legal concerns".

Moore claimed that the decision to pull his documentary, which is overtly critical of President Bush, was due to pressure from "top Republican people". Moore, who claimed to have signed a contract last month, said: "Apparently people have put pressure on them and they've broken a contract.

"We've informed them of their legal responsibility and we informed them that every corporate executive that has attempted to prohibit Americans from seeing this film has failed.

"There's been one struggle or another over this, but we've always come out on top because you can't tell Americans they can't watch this."

The film has emerged as a potentially powerful political tool as the electoral campaign gathers pace. Moore is renowned as a critic of President Bush.

Three days ago, Moore also offered to let Sinclair Broadcast Group - a company with a reputation for conservative politics - air Fahrenheit 9/11 for free.

The broadcaster, which is unlikely to have welcomed his offer, is already planning to air a critical documentary about John Kerry's anti-Vietnam War activities on dozens of television stations

In Demand is based in New York and owned by the Time Warner, Cox and Comcast cable companies.