ViacomCBS is reportedly paying a fee of at least $7 million, and up to $9 million, for the rights to air Oprah’s interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, the Wall Street Journal is reporting.
Although CBS is paying Oprah’s company, Harpo Productions, millions for the rights to air the upcoming tell-all interview, a spokesperson reportedly said the Sussexes aren’t being paid for their appearance.
Oprah’s two-hour interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will air on CBS at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday.
CBS is expecting to earn revenue from ad deals and international licensing
CBS is reportedly expecting to recoup the license fee of between $7 million and $9 million partly through advertising deals.
The Wall Street Journal learned from ad buyers that CBS is seeking to charge $325,000 for a 30-second commercial during the interview.
The ad buyers said that was about twice the normal price for the slot on CBS.
CBS also expects to earn revenue through international licensing deals. Rights to air the interview have already been sold in about 17 countries including in the U.K.
The U.K’s ITV reportedly paid £1 million (about $1.4 million is USD) for the rights to air the interview.
Monsters and Critics reported that the interview, Oprah With Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special, will air on ITV on Monday (March 8) at 9 P.M GMT.
Oprah also pitched the deal to NBC and ABC
According to WSJ, Oprah also pitched the interview to Comcast’s NBC and Walt Disney’s ABC before she closed the deal with CBS.
It was not surprising that Oprah concluded the deal with CBS. She previously worked with CBS’s 60 Minutes team and is close friends with Gayle King, who is a co-Anchor for CBS’s This Morning and an Editor-at-Large for O, The Oprah Magazine.
Although they are not being paid, the Sussexes stand to benefit from their relationship with Oprah
Although Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are not being paid for appearing on the upcoming CBS special, their branding ventures stand to benefit from the publicity surrounding their appearance on the Oprah interview.
Oprah and the Sussexes have fostered a close relationship in the past few years and Oprah attended their wedding in 2018.
Oprah recently offered free endorsement for Markle’s coffee product, the Daily Mail reported.
Markle is reportedly investing in Clevr, a company that makes powdered oat “superlattes,” and last December, Oprah promoted Markle’s coffee brand on her Instagram.
According to the Daily Mail, PR experts estimated Winfrey’s brand endorsements as being worth millions.
The latest news comes after sources close to Markle said the Duchess will not ask CBS to postpone the tell-all interview scheduled to air on Sunday even if she could, according to Monsters and Critics.
The source alleged that pressure to delay the interview until after Prince Philip recovers from his illness is part of the palace’s efforts to “muzzle” Markle.
The news also comes after CBS released a preview for the upcoming interview in which Markle says that palace aides blocked her from having a private conversation with Oprah before her royal wedding.