Wireless Decision Could Boost Cablevision


The Federal Communications Commission's proposal to release wireless carriers
from their obligation to buy about $16 billion in wireless spectrum from
NextWave Telecom Inc. could be a big boost for Cablevision Systems Corp., Credit
Suisse First Boston Corp. cable analyst Lara Warner said in a research report

Freeing wireless carriers like Verizon Communications and Cingular Wireless
from that obligation -- Verizon was on the hook for $8 billion alone -- makes it
highly likely that Cablevision's wireless carrier, Northcoast Communications,
will be sold, Warner wrote.

Northcoast currently has about 10 megahertz of spectrum in Boston and New
York -- two markets that would be particularly attractive to Verizon, the most
logical buyer.

She added that Cablevision could sell Northcoast for between $500 million and
$700 million, wiping out a large chunk of its expected $1 billion 2003 funding

A Northcoast sale could drive Cablevision stock up 10 percent to 20 percent,
Warner wrote, because it would alleviate the pressure of the funding shortfall
and erase any potential additional capital requirements to build out the
wireless network.

However, Warner maintained her 'underperform' rating on the stock, adding
that the FCC has not reached a final decision and that Cablevision must go
through a series of activities before the funding gap is closed.

Investors apparently felt the same way -- Cablevision stock rose just 30
cents each Friday, closing at $10.98 per