Joining the wave of homeowners cashing in on historically low interest rates, Cablevision ( CVC) set plans Monday to trim its borrowing costs. The big New York-area cable system operator said it would refinance up to $2 billion in debt. The move could make a big difference in the numbers the debt-heavy company shows Wall Street. The estimated interest-expense savings, according to the calculations of one analyst, would be enough to transform a forecast 2004 free cash flow deficit of $55 million to a break-even performance. Separately, Cablevision said the company's new agreement for carrying Yankees telecaster YES Network won't have a "significant" impact on its forecast annual operating cash flow. The company said there would be a "disproportionately greater" impact on first-quarter results. Cablevision's shares rose 43 cents Monday to trade at $22.76. Cablevision said Monday it planned to offer $2 billion of senior notes to certain institutional investors. The company says it will use the money to pay off all or a portion of two series of senior subordinated debentures as well as two series of preferred stock. As UBS analyst Aryeh Bourkoff wrote earlier this month in anticipation of such a refinancing, that debt and those preferreds have a total face value of $1.9 billion, and have an average annual cash interest rate of 11%. The refinancing announced Monday, Bourkoff estimated in a new note, would lower the average interest rate to 7.6% and cut $57 million from the $209.1 million in current annual interest expense on those securities. Bourkoff's estimated free cash flow deficit for Cablevision in 2004, absent the refinancing, is $55 million. Cablevision, which didn't discuss the interest it expected to pay on the new debt, has said that free cash flow -- usually defined as operating cash flow minus capital expenditures and interest expense -- would be "modestly negative" for this year and positive in the fourth quarter.