You may have heard that Super Bowl 50 is this Sunday. You may have also heard that it’s on CBS.
That was by design – at least from CBS’ standpoint.
“When we were negotiating for this new contract, we sort of plotted out what were the years and we worked with the NFL to get Super Bowl 50, and we were really pleased that they gave it to us,” CBS President and Chairman Les Moonves said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “Since we were there at Super Bowl I, the Golden Anniversary – the 50th anniversary – is a big deal. It’s better than the 49th. It’s better than the 51st. There’s something special about it. It’s like your 50th wedding anniversary. You have to give a better gift than you give on your 49th.”
Moonves, who is a big fan of “The Godfather,” has the difficult job of negotiating business with people who are more like family than friends. He recently negotiated CBS’ new Thursday Night deal with Robert Kraft, Roger Goodell and others.
“There really is a separation of church and state,” Moonves said. “This was a difficult situation and a dispute between the NFL and the Patriots and Tom Brady and Robert, who are very close. And I would say of all the owners that are involved in the NFL, Robert is the one who’s most active since he’s head of the television committee, most active with us. So he’s involved literally with every negotiation we do. So the day after the Patriots lost to the Broncos, on Monday morning we were on the phone negotiation the Thursday deal. As much as he was in pain over that loss – and he is. He’s a dear friend of mine, Roger’s a dear friend of mine. It was a difficult dispute within the family. And it was not our place to get involved in it. I felt sympathy for both sides. Tom Brady’s a friend of mine. I felt bad.”
Moonves, it is worth noting, played a pivotal role in orchestrating the infamous Floyd Mayweather/Manny Pacquiao fight. He does not believe there will be a rematch.
“I seriously doubt it,” he said. “Our deal clearly was with Floyd Mayweather, and he has said to me he really is done. The amount of money he made was so extraordinary. The amount of money they both made was extraordinary. At this moment, he has made no noise that he wants to come back and do another fight. Look, the fight wasn’t the most exciting of all time and people aren’t clamoring for a rematch. Maybe if that had been the case, it would have been a different story. But Floyd, at the moment, seems happy to be in retirement.”