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CNBC Exclusive: CNBC Transcript: CBS Corp. President & CEO Leslie Moonves Speaks with CNBC's David Faber on "Closing Bell"

WHEN: Tuesday, December 10th

WHERE: CNBC's "Closing Bell"

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview with CBS Corp. President and CEO Leslie Moonves today on CNBC's "Closing Bell." Following are links to the interview on CNBC.com: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000225560 and http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?play=1&video=3000225561

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

KELLY EVANS: DESPITE ALL THE CHANGES IN TECHNOLOGY THAT HAVE IMPACTED THE TV BUSINESS OVER TIME, THERE HAS BEEN ONE CEO WHO HAS BEEN THE CHAMPION OF NETWORK TELEVISION EVEN AS OTHERS HAVE PREDICTED ITS DEMISE. UNDER THE WATCH OF LES MOONVES, CBS HAS BECOME THE MOST WATCHED NETWORK WITH SOME OF THE MOST POPULAR PROGRAMS ON TELEVISION AND SOME OF THE NEW MEDIA PLATFORMS CBS HAS EMBRACED AS WELL. OUR OWN DAVID FABER AT THE UBS MEDIA CONFERENCE ALONG WITH CBS CHIEF LES MOONVES THIS AFTERNOON. DAVID?

DAVID FABER: THANKS VERY MUCH, KELLY. AS YOU SAY, WE'RE JOINED BY LESLIE MOONVES, THE CEO OF CBS. ANOTHER GREAT YEAR FOR THE STOCK PRICE. IT'S ONE REASON WHY YOU'RE SMILE RIGHT NOW. YOU ALWAYS MAKE PREDICTIONS WITH ME. I REMEMBER, IT MAY HAVE BEEN A YEAR AGO. YOU GUYS STARTED OFF IN TERMS OF THE RATINGS. IT WASN'T GOING THAT WELL LAST. YOU SAID, WE WILL END IN FIRST PLACE. YOU DID. THIS YEAR YOU ARE, OVERALL. HOW ABOUT PREDICTIONS THOUGH IN TERMS OF THE DEMO?

LES MOONVES: WHO KNOWS WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN WITH THE DEMO. NBC IS OFF TO A TERRIFIC START THIS YEAR. DESERVEDLY SO, BLACK LIST AND FOOTBALL. WE'RE STILL LEADING IN TOTAL VIEWERS BY A FAIRLY DECENT MARGIN. I'M VERY PLEASED WHERE WE ARE, WE ARE YOU KNOW, IN A VERY SOLID POSITION. BUT YOU KNOW WHAT, BROADCAST TELEVISION OVERALL IS UP. DOING EXTREMELY WELL. SPORTS IS PHENOMENAL. FOOTBALL, OUR HIGHEST RATINGS IN 19 YEARS. SO, THAT'S GOOD. THE ADVERTISING CLIMATE IS VERY UPBEAT, SO --

FABER: I HEARD YOU NOT, YOU KNOW -- A NUMBER OF PEOPLE HERE AT THE CONFERENCE HAVE SAID THAT THINGS WERE A LITTLE SOFT, IN SCATTER. SO WE'VE BEEN ASKING THAT QUESTION. YOU DON'T SEE IT.

MOONVES: WE HAVEN'T SEEN IT. SCATTER IS FINE. SCATTER IS FINE. YOU KNOW, IT'S NEAR THE HOLIDAYS. WE'RE EXTREMELY PLEASED WITH HOW OUR ADVERTISING HAS BEEN GOING ALL YEAR. WE'RE GOING TO MORE THAN MAKE OUR BUDGET FOR THE YEAR AND '14 IS LOOKING VERY PROMISING.

FABER: YOU HEAR THAT PREDICTION, FOR NUMBER ONE. USUALLY YOU LIKE TO GIVE THAT TO ME.

MOONVES: YOU KNOW, IN TOTAL VIEWERS WE'RE GOING TO BE NUMBER ONE. I'LL TELL YOU THAT TODAY. IN TERMS OF DEMOS, WHO KNOWS WHAT'S HAPPENED. YOU KNOW, FOX HAS THE SUPER BOWL. EVERYBODY IS DOING WELL. IT'S A GOOD YEAR FOR BROADCAST.

FABER: IT'S FUNNY YOU TALK ABOUT SPORTS OF COURSE WITH THE NFL UP SO MUCH. YOU WERE ANSWERING SOME QUESTIONS, AND THEY WERE PARTICULARLY ABOUT SPORTS PROGRAMMING AND SAID YOU'RE HAPPY WITH THE FOUR THAT YOU'VE GOT.

MOONVES: CORRECT.

FABER: NFL, NCAA, OF COURSE, SOME PGA STUFF --

MOONVES: AND NFC FOOTBALL.

FABER: WHICH HAD AN INCREDIBLE GAME RECENTLY.

MOONVES: HAD AN INCREDIBLE GAME.

FABER: DOES SPORTS PROGRAMMING EVER -- DOES THE FEE INCREASE EVER STOP OR DOES THAT JUST KEEP GOING TO THE SKY?

MOOVES: YOU KNOW, THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT ALL FOUR OF THOSE DEALS YOU MENTIONED, WE HAVE THEM FOR MORE THAN A DECADE. SO, WE KNOW WHAT THEY ARE. LOOK, WE'RE GOING TO BE PROFITABLE IN EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE SPORTS THIS YEAR AND DURING THE LENGTH OF THESE CONTRACTS. LOOK, IT COSTS A LOT OF MONEY. THE NFL ESPECIALLY COSTS A LOT OF MONEY. BUT GUESS WHY. IT'S WORTH IT. YOU MAKE MONEY, THE RATINGS ARE PHENOMENAL. YOU DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT TECHNOLOGY. PEOPLE WATCH IT LIVE AND IT DOES EXTRAORDINARILY WELL. SO WE'RE VERY HAPPY WITH OUR PROFILE.

FABER: THIS IS THE FIRST TIME YOU AND I HAVE HAD A CHANCE TO SPEAK SINCE THE INFAMOUS BLACKOUT OF THE SUMMER, OF COURSE. CBS TAKEN OFF TIME WARNER CABLE SUBSCRIBERS. YOU SAID IT WASN'T FUN BEING DARK, ALTHOUGH MANY WOULD LOOK AT IT AND SAY WELL, IT WAS A CLEAR VICTORY FOR CBS. SO WHY NOT FEEL LIKE, HEY, YOU KNOW WHAT, IT WENT JUST ABOUT AS WELL AS IT COULD HAVE.

MOONVES: NO. BY THE WAY, WE'RE OBVIOUSLY HAPPY HOW IT TURNED OUT. WE'RE HAPPY WITH THE RESOLUTION. WE FELT WE GOT PAID APPROPRIATELY FOR WHAT OUR CONTENT DELIVERS TO AN AUDIENCE. WE KEPT OUR DIGITAL RIGHTS, WHICH WAS VERY IMPORTANT. THE PROCESS OF BEING DARK AND NOT DELIVERING CBS CONTENT TO YOUR CUSTOMERS IS NOT A GOOD ONE. YOU DON'T FEEL GOOD ABOUT IT, YOU HEAR IT FROM EVERYBODY ON THE STREET. YOU HEAR IT FROM CONGRESS PEOPLE. YOU HEAR IT FROM THE FCC. IT'S NOT GOOD FOR THE CONSUMERS. WE'VE NEVER BEEN DARK BEFORE. AT THE END OF THE DAY, THE RESOLUTION WAS VERY FAVORABLE TO US. WE'RE VERY PLEASED WITH HOW IT ENDED UP BUT IT'S STILL NOT FUN BEING DARK.

FABER: TIME WARNER CABLE FIGURES INTO A LOT OF CONVERSATION AT THIS CONFERENCE AND ELSEWHERE AMONGST INVESTORS ABOUT CONSOLIDATION.

MOONVES: YES.

FABER: GIVEN YOU HAD A PRETTY PUBLIC FIGHT WITH THOSE GUYS AND, OF COURSE, CONTENT SEEMED TO PREVAIL, DO YOU WORRY ABOUT FURTHER CONSOLIDATION AMONGST THE DISTRIBUTORS?

MOONVES: NOT REALLY. NOT REALLY. LOOK, OBVIOUSLY THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF CONVERSATION ABOUT TIME WARNER CABLE FROM COMCAST AND CHARTER AND POTENTIALLY COX. IT'S NOTHING THAT WORRIES ME. YOU KNOW, WE HAVE GREAT RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE MVPDs, OR MOST OF THEM. AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO HAVING GREAT PARTNERSHIPS WITH THEM. SO WHATEVER HAPPENS, HOWEVER IT PLAYS OUT, WE'RE GOING TO BE FINE BECAUSE WE'RE DELIVERING PREMIER CONTENT. WE'RE DELIVERING GOOD SPORTING EVENTS, WE'RE DELIVERING GOOD PRIME TIME EVENTS, ET CETERA. SO THEY'RE ALWAYS GOING TO NEED US.

FABER: AS LONG AS YOU'RE GETTING PAID FOR IT, RIGHT?

MOONVES: AS LONG AS WE'RE GETTING PAID FOR IT.

FABER: I WANT TO MOVE TO THE BALANCE SHEET A BIT, IF I CAN.

MOONVES: YES.

FABER: THE OUTDOOR SPIN IS ON TRACK FOR THE FIRST QUARTER OF NEXT YEAR.

MOONVES: CORRECT.

FABER: THAT'S VERY SOON. WHAT IS THE PLAN WITH THE CAPITAL THAT IS FREED UP AS A RESULT OF THAT, SOME OTHER THINGS THAT ARE HAPPENING, MANY SAY YOU'RE GOING TO BE SEVERELY UNDERLEVERED IF YOU CAN.

MOONVEST: RIGHT.

FABER: AND THEREFORE HAVE A LOT OF FIREPOWER FOR POTENTIAL ACQUISITION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO PURSUE THEM.

MOONVES: WELL, THERE'S NOTHING IN OUR EYESIGHT IN TERMS OF AN ACQUISITION OR A BIG ACQUISITION. OBVIOUSLY, WHEN THE SPIN HAPPENS, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A LOT OF CASH. OUR INTENT IS TO RETURN A BIG CHUNK OF IT TO THE SHAREHOLDERS. I ANTICIPATE A VERY LARGE SHARE BUYBACK IN THE FIRST QUARTER.

FABER: THAT'S AN IMPORTANT COMPONENT OF YOUR STORY THUS FAR. CAPITAL RETURNS.

MOONVES: NO QUESTION. BUT WE HAVEN'T BORROWED TO DO THAT. WE'VE DONE IT WITH EARNINGS. WE'VE BOUGHT BACK OUR SHARES. SO AS YOU LOOK FORWARD, OBVIOUSLY, WE'LL GET A LOT OF MONEY FROM THE SPIN. WE WILL BUY BACK SHARES. WE WILL LOOK -- IF THERE'S ANY STRATEGIC THING THAT MAKES SENSE TO US AS A CONTENT PROVIDER. WE WILL HAVE THE ABILITY TO DO THAT. AND YOU KNOW, I SLEEP VERY WELL AT NIGHT KNOWING WE'RE GOING TO GET THE OUTDOOR MONEY PLUS WE HAVE BORROWING CAPACITY IF WE NEED IT. BUT, I DON'T LIKE BEING IN DEBT.

FABER: YOU DON'T LIKE BEING IN DEBT. YOU KNOW IT'S FUNNY, WE HAVEN'T TALKED ABOUT YOUR CONTROLLING SHAREHOLDER IN A LONG TIME. HOW IS HE FEELING ABOUT ALL THIS, GIVEN NOT JUST YOU, BUT YESTERDAY INTERVIEWED PHILIPPE DAUMAN OF COURSE OF VIACOM. BOTH HAVE DONE QUITE WELL. ANY WORD FROM SUMNER REDSTONE?

MOONVES: SUMNER IS VERY ENCOURAGING. I SPEAK TO HIM OFTEN. HE'S VERY PLEASED WITH OUR STOCK PRICE. HE'S VERY PLEASED WITH VIACOM'S STOCK PRICE.

FABER: OH I'LL BET HE IS.

MOONVES: YOU KNOW, PHILIPPE HAS DONE A GREAT JOB THERE AS WELL. WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE TWO COMPANIES, SUMNER IS A PRETTY HAPPY CHAIRMAN. I ALWAYS WANT SUMNER TO BE HAPPY.

FABER: I BET YOU DO. YOU KNOW, YOU ALWAYS LIKE TO MENTION, LESLIE, OF COURSE ALL THE SHOWS, WHETHER IT'S "SURVIVOR" WHICH INTERESTINGLY YOU SAID YOU DIDN'T ACTUALLY --

MOONVES: NO.

FABER: -- FAVOR AT THE TIME MANY YEARS AGO.

MOONVES: AT THE TIME I WAS PITCHED MANY YEARS AGO I THOUGHT IT WAS THE ONE OF CRAZIEST IDEA I EVER HEARD, YOU KNOW. BUT, WE PUT IT ON RELUCTANTLY IN THE SUMMER AND FORTUNATELY THEY DIDN'T LISTEN TO ME.

FABER: DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE OF ALL THOSE SHOWS?

MOONVES: DO I HAVE A FAVORITE?

FABER: YEAH. YOU MENTION "THE GOOD WIFE" A LOT I KNOW.

MOONVES: BY THE WAY. I LOVE "THE GOOD WIFE," I THINK IT'S TRULY PROBABLY THE BEST SHOW ON NETWORK TELEVISION TODAY. THE WRITING, THE ACTING, IT'S SUPERB. IT'S A GREAT SHOW. IT'S ONE OF MY FAVORITES. I HAVE A LOT OF THEM THROUGHOUT THE SCHEDULE. YOU KNOW, I DON'T PICK MY CHILDREN. I LOVE THEM ALL.

FABER: ALRIGHT. LESLIE MOONVES, AS ALWAYS APPRECIATE YOUR TIME. THANK YOU.

MOONVES: DAVID, THANK YOU.

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