The NFL and CBS had a high-level meeting about speeding up games

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CBS CEO Les Moonves
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Michael Seto/Business Insider

The NFL had a high-level meeting with CBS, one of its big TV partners, to talk about how to speed up football games, according to CBS CEO Les Moonves.

The NFL has suffered ratings woes this season, which only partially recovered after the close of the US presidential election. For the regular season, viewership was down 9%, and 6% for the playoffs, according to MoffettNathanson. That’s not good, and the NFL is looking to turn it around.

One tactic the NFL has considered is decreasing the number of ads and changing how they appear, multiple NFL execs have said. And now they are in conversations with CBS about it.

On CBS’ quarterly earnings call Wednesday, CEO Les Moonves said he’d met recently with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell about how to get the game moving faster. They talked about speeding up instant replay time, and also a potential “reformatting” of ads. Moonves said that didn’t mean cutting back the amount of ads shown during games, however.

“If there are ways to do advertising in different ways, we are looking at that,” Moonves said.

Even with the ratings decrease, Moonves said he still considers the NFL “the premier property in all of media.”

For a full look at the NFL’s ratings problem, see our exploration of it.