Network rivalries aside, CBS honcho Les Moonves thinks President Barack Obama had no choice but to cancel his planned appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live."
TMZ broke the story ... the Prez was going to Kimmel's Hollywood studio at 3 PM Wednesday to appear on the show ... without a studio audience ... but he backed out.
Moonves said the appearance on a different network was no big deal ... but that Obama has too much going on right now in the world to hit up the late night shows.
Obama's press secretary said Tuesday given the 2 world crises it wasn't a good idea to appear on a comedy show.
Kimmel's people told TMZ we were flat out wrong about any Obama appearance on Kimmel Wednesday ... but the plan was in tact, to the point the Kimmel staff had to ante up their SSNs.