Willner: Control Costs Before Regulators Do


Cable operators and programmers are going to have to find a happy medium
to rein in content costs or face the possibility that regulators will do it for
them, Insight Communications Co. Inc. president Michael Willner said at an
industry conference.

Willner, in a question-and-answer session with Multichannel News
editorial director Marianne Paskowski at the New York Cable Club luncheon in
Manhattan Thursday, agreed that sports-programming costs have been skyrocketing
out of control for years.

Willner's comments come during one of the more heated disputes between an MSO
and a programmer -- Cablevision Systems Corp. and Yankees Entertainment &
Sports Network.

Willner, who also serves as the chairman of the National
Cable & Telecommunications Association, stressed that the National Show --
which will be held in New Orleans in May -- remains an important forum for
operators and programmers.