CBS reportedly paid at least $7 million to air Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s bombshell interview with Oprah

Prince Harry Meghan Markle Oprah
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Getty Images
  • Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah is said to have cost CBS at least $US7 ($9) million.
  • The deal gave CBS the rights to air the two-hour special in the US and international markets.
  • The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not paid to take part in the interview, a representative said.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

CBS’ parent company, ViacomCBS, paid $US7 ($9) million to $US9 ($12) million for the rights to air Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Harpo Productions, Winfrey’s production company, had also pitched the interview to NBC, owned by Comcast, and ABC, owned by Disney, sources familiar with the deal told the publication.

Royal experts and media analysts predicted to The Sunday Times that the interview could rake in more viewers than February’s Super Bowl, which close to 100 million people watched.

ViacomCBS’ multimillion-dollar license fee, paid to Harpo, gave it the rights to air the two-hour interview in both the US and international markets, the sources told The Journal.

Markle and Harry were not paid to take part in the interview, a representative for the couple told Insider.

In the US, the interview broadcast at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday on CBS.

In the UK, ViacomCBS sold the broadcasting rights to ITV, which is set to air it Monday night, after beating bids from Channel 4, Channel 5, and Sky, The Sunday Times reported. The BBC did not bid for the rights, the publication reported.

CBS’ broadcast of the interview could bring in lucrative advertising income. The network was looking for about $US325,000 ($424,505) for 30 seconds of ad time during the program, or twice the usual rate for a show airing in that time slot, The Journal reported, citing ad buyers.

In the interview, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex spoke about their departure from royal duties last year and the strained relationships it brought about in the family. They also announced they were having a baby girl.