Jack Kent Cooke, who already has a few dollars, says it's just a matter of time before he pockets his next $442 million. But some of the people who are greatly enriching Cooke by buying his cable television systems say not so fast.

The Washington Redskins owner said late last week that only about $266 million of the complex, $1.6 billion cable sale he negotiated with a consortium of six buyers last year remains uncompleted. Even if the buyers committed to the unsold portion can't raise the capital, Cooke said he has a backup buyer ready to go. "Everything is hunky-dory," he said.

However, a source close to the buyers group said that as much as a third of the purchase hasn't closed yet, and at least one of the buyers, Adelphia Communications of Pennsylvania, is still dickering with Cooke, who bought the systems only three years ago for $1.15 billion. The matter could be resolved by year-end, the source said, but at a renegotiated price that would cut into Cooke's anticipated profit.

Cooke, meanwhile, is already considering his next deal. Pleased with the performance of his newspaper, the Daily News in Los Angeles, Cooke said he looking to buy another newspaper.