Leo Hindery Jr., Chairman & CEO of the YES Network

This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, June 19, 2002, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.

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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: If you are a Yankees fan and live near where the Yankees play, you may have to fly to Florida just to catch a game on TV this season. Judge Thomas Platt dismissed a lawsuit last week filed by Cablevision subscribers who argued that the cable operator should show Yankee games carried by the YES Network.

So they still can't see Yankee games. And they're still steamed. How does the company that provides those telecasts feel about all of this? Well, let's ask Leo Hindery. Leo, of course, the chairman and the CEO of the YES Network. Leo, good to see you again.


CAVUTO: This will never be solved, will it?

HINDERY: You know, I think it has to be solved. The lawsuit last week, Neil, was a shareholder complaint that really had no legal standing. I can't contemplate a scenario where the Yankees stay off of Cablevision systems forever.

CAVUTO: Well, it's been all this season thus far.

HINDERY: Well, it is. I think it is an important issue. I think we do get fixated by the Yankees not being on Cablevision, and that certainly is the issue of the moment. But I think it is more seminal than that.

A number of years ago, Fox News struggled to get carried here in Manhattan, as you know. And I think what is going to be explored here and ultimately figured out is the relationship between distributors of programming and independent programmers, programmers that are not owned by the distribution sides of the industry. And the lawsuit that we have in the federal district court certainly resolved that. And the legislation that's been suggested up in Albany is aimed at that.

CAVUTO: Yes, but now Cablevision is coming back, if you want us to prepare for a trial on all this, 600-some odd days. I mean, that is a couple of seasons, right?

HINDERY: Well, we did find that one the edge of interest. I mean, it was 660 days to go through a file cabinet that's got three drawers in it. We've only been around six months.

CAVUTO: Roger Clemens is going to be like 80 years old by the time this thing is through.

HINDERY: Yes, but he will still be throwing nearly 90 miles an hour.

CAVUTO: But, you know, it's interesting, Leo, Cablevision have not lost an inordinate amount of customers based on this. They come back and say, it is hurting you guys more than it is us.

HINDERY: No. It is hurting the fans. It really should not be about hurting us. We are hurt. Obviously, we are a programmer that's not being carried. But it is about the fans, Neil. And that is what the courts and the legislature and the city councils and others have to reflect on here.

CAVUTO: But you must be talking about trying to settle this amicably. Cablevision says you are asking for too much, that if you want to be a main tier station, I mean, you have got to cool it with the demands.

HINDERY: No, we are not asking for too much. Thirty-eight other operators, Neil, in the four-state region without exception are carrying the service today in expanded basic. We are not asking too much or they wouldn't have paid.

CAVUTO: Yes. It is on basic and all the other systems surrounding the Tri-State area.

HINDERY: It's basic everywhere. It's basic everywhere, including on DirecTV.

CAVUTO: So, you want basic. You do not want to be a premium channel. So, if they come back and say, it is going to be a premium, you are still saying no deal? It's got to be basic or bust?

HINDERY: No, because premium is not where sports, regional sports, belong anymore. Then that's where Fox News belongs or ESPN or CNN or Lifetime or A&E or any of the other shows.

CAVUTO: When would it be so?

HINDERY: Well, I think this one is not about a cable operator, Neil. I think it is about a competitor. Cablevision owns a competing sports service called MSG. And I think they view us as a competitor. This has nothing to do with Cablevision, the cable operator. It has everything to do with Cablevision, the competing programmer. And I think once people reflect on that, it will move in our direction. I am confident.

CAVUTO: Leo, always good seeing you. Thank you very much.

HINDERY: Nice to see you, Neil. Thank you.

CAVUTO: Leo Hinder, the chairman and the CEO of YES Network.

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