Moonves sees big gains in NFL rights deal


Les MoonvesDespite the $275 million CBS dropped to win the rights to televise the NFL this fall, CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves is already seeing dollar signs.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Moonves spoke to reporters about this season’s new “Thursday Night Football” package on CBS.

“We pay a lot of money for football,” Moonves said, “and we make a lot of money on football.”

“Thursday Night Football,” which makes its broadcast debut on CBS 9/11, “will be the biggest thing on network television this fall,” Goodell added.

Moonves called NFL football “the single best product on network television…This is a sure thing.”

The new deal is for one year, so the NFL can gauge whether Thursday football can replicate its Sunday night gold mine. CBS is trying to secure pole position for the next deal, which will likely be longer term, noted The NY Daily News.

To maximize CBS’ football promotion, Moonves said CBS viewers can expect to see NFL themes in some of the network’s other programming this fall.

The deal runs for the first eight weeks of the NFL season, with the remaining eight Thursday games returning to the NFL Network, where the night launched in 2006.

Goodell said that while the NFL is the friendliest of all major sports to broadcast television, he expects that the “back eight,” when playoff races are heating up, will remain on the NFL’s own cable-distributed network.

See the NY Daily News story here