Viacom CEO Talks NFL-CBS Negotiations Ahead Of '22 Expiration
ViacomCBS President & CEO Bob Bakish said he is the company "will have a longstanding and highly productive partnership with the NFL." CBS' contract with the league runs through the '22 season. Appearing yesterday on CNBC's "Squawk Alley," Bakish said the NFL "gets broadcast reach" through its CBS deal, and for a "mass market business like the NFL, that's important." Bakish: "CBS produces multiple games per week for them in the season, and that's the way their product is exhibited to the American consumer. They care deeply about that, and they have great trust in CBS." He added with Viacom, the NFL now "gets young audience reach" because CBS has an "older audience" ("Squawk Alley," CNBC, 9/17). Incoming ViacomCBS CFO Christina Spade said that CBS "expects to begin talks in earnest with the NFL after the league completes its tricky negotiations" on a new CBA with the NFLPA. Bakish said of the NFL, "Would they like a large check? Of course they would." He said that ViacomCBS "heads into the NFL talks with a strengthened hand thanks to the merger opening possibilities for promotion and marketing across a broader portfolio of channels." Bakish: "We bring broadcast reach, first-class creative capabilities, young market reach to complement the older reach and international reach. That's a very substantial package as we move forward" (VARIETY.com, 9/17).