CBS chief Moonves: Fewer ad breaks by NFL won't hurt our bottom line

Key Points
  • The NFL will not reduce ad times on CBS, Leslie Moonves says.
  • Viewers can expect to see four breaks that are slightly longer instead of five, he says.
Les Moonves
Michael Newberg | CNBC

The National Football Leagues' planned tweaks to commercial breaks will not affect CBS's bottom line this season, CBS Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves told CNBC on Thursday.

"We are not going to reduce ads. They're just going to reconfigure in a different way. So, perhaps instead of there being five breaks, there are four breaks that are slightly longer," Moonves said on "Squawk on the Street."

Moonves spoke with CNBC in a wide-ranging interview at the Allen & Co. Sun Valley conference in Idaho. In March, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league is considering changes to speed up game play, including fewer interruptions from ads.

The change came after the league reported average TV viewership for the regular season was down from the previous year.

In the interview, Moonves said he expects this season, including Thursday nights, to have better viewership. The league is experimenting with streaming services like Amazon and Verizon, he said, opening up the possibilities for a wider audience.

Moonves said lately he's been watching more deregulation and tax reform from the Trump administration.

"There are lot of big business things that are on the table that will help all businesses," he said. "And the Trump administration, while adding to business, obviously has posed some challenges to our news division."

—The Associated Press contributed to this report.