Moonves downplays Time Warner deal speculation

CBS Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves sought to quell speculation about whether the media giant would be better off merging with Time Warner or Viacom.

"There's a lot of noise out there," he said Friday on CNBC's "Squawk Box," though he acknowledged that CBS is closer to Time Warner than any other entertainment company. "We own the CW together. We do the NCAA basketball tournament together. Warner Bros. is probably, outside of ourselves, the top-supplier of shows to the CBS television network."

But Moonves—who recently signed a new deal to keep him at the network until 2019—contended that both companies are going "extremely well" on their own. "Right now, we are very happy being alone."

Read MoreGetting millennials to pay for TV: Time Warner CEO

In 2006, when Viacom split into two publicly traded companies, Moonves was named CEO of the newly formed CBS. Media legend Sumner Redstone is executive chairman of both CBS and Viacom.

As for suggestions that CBS would have be more powerful if it came back together with Viacom, Moonves said, "We feel we have plenty of clout in the marketplace." Citing recent carriage battles with Time Warner Cable and Dish Network, he said, "We came out just fine."

"We have the NFL," he continued. "We have the No. 1 comedy in 'Big Bang Theory,' the No. 1 drama in 'NCIS.' We have a lot of clout when we go in with distributors and say, 'You know what, you really need to have CBS on the air.' We don't need to add to have that clout." The CBS Corporation includes the broadcast network, owned-and-operated local TV stations, CBS Television Studios, movie channel Showtime and the CBS Sports Network.

Owning content now and in the future is becoming as important as advertising, Moonves said. "Content is going to continue to propel us." He also stressed the importance of CBS as a company evolving in the digital age. "We are putting a lot of our content online and getting paid for it."

As for the NFL, Moonves said that NBC did a "spectacular job with the Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl. "They had a phenomenal matchup, two great teams. You couldn't imagine a better game. I thought Katy Perry was sensational [during halftime]. Top-to-bottom they were lucky and good."

"It's the one day of the year we root for them," he added. "We have Super Bowl 50 and our ad rates, which are going to begin north of $5 million for a 30 second television spot, are based on their great ratings."

Brands paid NBC up to a record $4.5 million for a 30-second spot during the big game last Sunday.

Read MoreSuper Bowl becomes most-watched US TV program ever

Disclosure: NBC and CNBC are owned by Comcast.

Morning Squawk: CNBC's before the bell news roundup

Sign up to get Morning Squawk each weekday

Get this delivered to your inbox, and more info about about our products and service. Privacy Policy.
Please enter a valid email address