Although the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, a.k.a. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, did not receive financial compensation for their confessional interview with Oprah Winfrey, ViacomCBS VIACA reportedly paid the talk show doyenne between $7 million and $9 million for the licensing fee for the two-hour production.
What Happened: A Wall Street Journal article sourcing unnamed “people familiar with the pact,” stated CBS was also charging about $325,000 per 30 seconds to commercial advertisers who sought to be included in the program, a sum that is approximately twice the regular price of ad time during the Sunday night primetime programming bloc. An average of 17.1 million viewers watched the telecast, according to Nielsen.
Although Winfrey has ties to CBS — she was briefly part of the “60 Minutes” on-air team and has a high-publicized "BFF" relationship with morning news host Gayle King — the unnamed sources also claimed Winfrey’s Harpo Productions pitched the interview to Comcast Corporation’s CMCSA NBC and the Walt Disney Co.’s DIS ABC.
Was It Worth The Money? The interview, which included bombshell claims by Markle that racism and mental cruelty from within the royal family and palace administration drove her to consider suicide, created a sensation across traditional and social media. The interview will air this evening in Great Britain on ITV plc ITV.
The Sussexes have withdrawn as working members of the royal family and resettled in Montecito, California, where they signed production deals to produce documentaries with Netflix Inc. NFLX and podcasts with Spotify Technology SA SPOT. During the interview, Prince Harry stated the couple signed those deals after they were cut off financially from the royal family and required funds to pay for the security detail that was withdrawn by the palace after the couple left Great Britain in January 2020 to briefly take up residence in Canada.
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