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NFL took appropriate action on Ray Rice: Les Moonves

The NFL did the right thing by indefinitely suspending star running back Ray Rice after he was caught on tape punching the woman who is now his wife, and the incident will not affect CBS' long-term deal with the football franchise, CBS President and CEO Les Moonves told CNBC Wednesday.

"It was horrific. It was horrible to see. It was horrible to hear about, but the NFL is still an important part of America. It's still an important part of CBS," Moonves said in an interview with "Closing Bell."

While the incident occurred in February, video of Rice punching his then-fiancee in the face inside an elevator in Atlantic City has only surfaced in recent days. On Monday, the Baltimore Ravens cut Rice from the team. The NFL originally suspended him for two days, but has since made the suspension indefinite.

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Les Moonves, president and chief executive officer of CBS Corp.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Les Moonves, president and chief executive officer of CBS Corp.

"The commissioner, by his own admission … was way too lenient with a two-game suspension. I think he corrected himself fairly shortly thereafter, and I think he took the appropriate action," Moonves said.

CBS, which airs NFL games on Sundays, has also added the league's games to its Thursday night line-up after winning a bidding war earlier this year.

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The bidding was less than $300 million for the single-season contract. It will broadcast eight games on Thursday nights.

"I love that deal. I'd extend it for 10 more years if I could," Moonves said.

Despite the high cost for the broadcasting rights, he said the network's deal with the NFL is a winner.

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"The NFL has proven to be the best thing there is in television. That's why people are paying so much money and yet we still make a profit. The NFL is basically invisible. The numbers keep going up just about every year," Moonves said.

—By CNBC's Michelle Fox. Reuters contributed to this report.