CBS Is Paying Oprah Up To $9m To Air Interview With Meghan And Harry


CBS is paying Oprah Winfrey up to $9 million to air her bombshell interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry where they are expected to spill all about their dramatic exit from the Royal family.

The network has forked out between $7 million and $9 million in license fees to Winfrey’s production company Harpro Productions for the rights to the no-holds-barred sit down with the Sussexes, according to a report.

The interview is shaping up to be big business as millions are expected to tune in around the globe to watch the already escalating tensions between Meghan and Harry and Buckingham Palace reach a head.

Trailers teased this week show Meghan accusing the Royal Family of ‘perpetuating falsehoods’ about the couple as she referred to the palace as ‘The Firm’ and blamed her husband’s family for pushing them to speak out.

This comes as Buckingham Palace this week launched a probe into allegations Meghan bullied Kensington Palace staff, drove out two PAs and inflicted ’emotional cruelty’ on aides.

The tell-all interview will be aired first in the US on Sunday night despite protests it should be put on hold while Prince Philip – Harry’s grandfather – recovers in hospital from heart surgery.

Despite the huge license fee for the host, reps for Meghan and Harry said they are not being paid for the special, nor are they receiving a financial donation for a charity of their choice.

However experts say the publicity surrounding the show will help propel the $1 billion brand the couple are on a mission to build in the US.

They have already secured deals with the likes of Netflix after leaving the UK last January for a new ‘quiet’ life on the other side of the pond.

Until now, the financial details of the hotly-anticipated interview have been a closely guarded secret.

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Winfrey’s company produced the interview before selling it and its distribution rights to ViacomCBS.

Sources told the Wall Street Journal Friday about the multi-million-dollar deal struck between the two companies which was reached after the talk show host pitched to the network as well as Comcast’s NBC and Walt Disney’s ABC.

Winfrey has ties to both CBS and Meghan and Harry through her best friend Gayle King who is one of the network’s biggest stars and a friend of Meghan’s.

Winfrey also attended the couple’s Royal wedding in 2018, before even meeting the pair, after inviting Meghan’s mother Doria over to her Montecito mansion for yoga.

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CBS stands to cash in on the deal through advertising deals, with a 30-second commercial during the two-hour show costing in the region of $325,000, reported the Journal.

This is roughly double the cost of a normal ad aired during the Sunday night slot.

The show was set to air for 90 minutes but CBS extended it to a two-hour special, giving the network an extra commercial break to rake in more ad spend.

Under the deal, CBS also has rights to license the special in international markets.

The network has already sold it in 17 countries and all of sub-Saharan Africa – where there are 52 countries – with the UK’s ITV paying £1 million for the rights to air it Monday after a bidding war with rival network Sky.

It is not known how much networks in other countries paid to air the special.

The two-hour interview will air first in the US on CBS at 8 pm ET Sunday – one of the biggest primetime TV viewing slots.

Though Meghan and Harry are reportedly not receiving a fee for their appearance, the show is expected to drum up more interest in the couple as they seek new business ventures for their lives post-Royal.

The couple founded their own production company and struck a five-year deal with Netflix in the fall, which is rumored to be worth around $100 million.

In December, they announced an exclusive deal – worth an estimated $25 million  -with Spotify for their Archewell Audio podcast.

Spotify said a full series will launch in 2021 with the couple teasing their first podcast show – a holiday special – on December 29 featuring their son Archie and Elton John.

The show climbed to number two on Spotify’s UK charts and number nine in the US.

They have also made private appearances as speakers at events including a star-studded JP Morgan summit in Miami last February where they are thought to have netted up to $1 million.

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