Over 700 finance terms, Shmooped to perfection.
Think of it as "market yield": The subordinated debentures for Cablevision have a coupon of 7%. That is, when Cablevision sold $100M of those bonds, they were on the hook for $7M a year in interest. Cablevision couldn't help that Wall Street didn't like their new programming deals, which didn't include C-SPAN and the bonds sold off heavily - down to 90 cents on the dollar. Anyone who now buys a bond unit (usually solid in increments of $1,000) for $900 still receives the 7% coupon from the good people at Cablevision. It's just that now that $70 in interest is paid out over the initial cost of $900 instead of $1,000. 70/1000 = 7%; 70/900 = 7.8%