The trustee running the Tevel cable TV company claimed today that he has balanced its monthly deficit.

In conversation with TheMarker.com, Zvi Yochman said he had canceled a content agreement with Fox, reopened other content agreements, saved a million on wages and cut operating costs by NIS 3 million a month.

Tevel's monthly revenues are about NIS 51 million. Tow weeks ago Yochman claimed the company could not reduce its operating costs any further without hurting subscribers, or its competitiveness against arch-rival YES, a satellite television operator. Hence, he said, there was no alternative but to renegotiate content agreements.

Yochman recently compared Tevel's figures from 1998 to 2001. The company's financing costs quadrupled to NIS 200 million. Its sales and marketing costs also quadrupled, to n I 97 million. Management and general costs tripled to NIS 81 million.

Content costs which soaked up 18% of Tevel's revenues in 1998 had climbed to command 64% of its revenues in 2001, a trend Yochman is reversing.

Tevel is also gearing up to sell certain assets in order to relieve some of its mountain of debt, about NIS 3.5 billion altogether. The company is in the process of choosing an assessor, but does not expect to have one in place by September 10 the date on which the company has a District Court hearing on extending the suspension of proceedings against it.

A source at the banks said there is no intention of assessing Tevel's assets independently. The source said that Yochman had mentioned the figure of around NIS 300 million for the assets on the block, much less than the banks estimate. But Yochman's choice of assessor will probably be done in coordination with the banks, the source added.