ARLINGTON, TX – APRIL 05: Chairman and CEO of CBS Les Moonves (L) and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones look on during the NCAA Men’s Final Four Semifinal at AT&T Stadium between the Florida Gators and the Connecticut Huskies on April 5, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

CBS CEO Les Moonves remains bullish on the NFL remaining on broadcast television. During a conference call announcing CBS’ second quarter earnings this week, Moonves said there’s a reason why the NFL continues to place the Super Bowl on network TV, “It’s just higher rated, nobody has the reach that we do.”

Moonves is confident that the NFL won’t abandon its broadcast partners in CBS, Fox and NBC in favor of Amazon, Facebook, Google or Twitter. In fact, Moonves said the tech companies will become more important in the future, but not as a competitor. He said they will “go along with broadcast” to complement TV as with Amazon this season and Twitter last year on Thursday Night Football.

The CBS head honcho said he doesn’t see the NFL awarding a major package to Silicon Valley to stream games exclusively. Last month, NFL COO Tod Leiweke told the National Sports Forum Summer Summit that the league still sees the importance of its broadcast partners.

“They’ve done such a magnificent job of helping us make the league what it is with innovations, and how they cover the game, it’s just amazing,” Leiweke said. “And I think our partners today have been responsible for the massive fanbase we have.”

Moonves said the NFL is a significant part of CBS’ programming and could play a role when the network launches its over the top streaming sports news network.

“In terms of the other rights, look, the NFL has always been extremely supportive of broadcast television. Yes, there’s going to be a digital component, and you’re right, this service could allow us to be a bigger player in that and perhaps get certain digital rights as these contracts come up more and more,” Moonves said.

With CBS firmly entrenched with the NFL airing Sunday afternoon AFC games and one half of the Thursday Night Football package, there’s no reason to believe that it won’t be outbid like it was back in 1993 when it lost to NFC games to Fox.

Les Moonves remains high on network television and as long as the NFL continues to award contracts to the networks, there’s no reason for him to lower his confidence.


About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.