CBSViacom is reportedly paying a licence fee of between $7 million and $9 million for the rights to air Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle which airs on Sunday.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the agreement between CBS and Winfrey's production company, Harpo Productions, allows the network to license the special in international markets, such as the UK, where the interview will air on Monday on ITV.
The Wall Street Journal also reports that CBS was seeking around $325,000 for 30 seconds of commercial time during the programme, which is about twice the normal price of ad time in that time period.
Harpo had also reportedly pitched NBC and ABC on the special.
The interview, airing Sunday night (7 March) at 8pm on both coasts in the US, will mark the couple’s first televised interview since they stepped down from their royal duties at the start of last year.
A trailer released on Monday showed Winfrey saying to the couple: “You’ve said some pretty shocking things here,” building anticipation for the interview.
In another clip featuring just Winfrey and Meghan, it was revealed that Winfrey initially approached the duchess for an interview in February or March 2018, before her wedding to Prince Harry.
“So I just want to say that I called you Feb or March 2018 before the wedding asking would you please give me an interview – and you said I’m sorry it's not the right time and finally we get to sit down and have this conversation,” the TV titan said.
The Duchess replied, “I remember that conversation very well, I wasn’t even allowed to have that conversation with you personally,” before claiming that other people were present for the conversation with Winfrey.
Winfrey confirms that other people were indeed in the room at the time and that Meghan had, “turned [her] down nicely”.
Winfrey said, “[You] said perhaps there will be another time when there is the right time. What is right about this time?”
Meghan replied, “Well, so many things. That we’re on the other side of a lot of life experience that has happened and also that we have the ability to make our own choices in a way I couldn’t have said yes to you then. That wasn’t my choice to make.
“So as an adult who lived a really independent life to then go into this construct that is different than I think what people imagine it to be, it’s really liberating to be able to have the right and privilege in some ways to be able to say ‘yes’.”
Harry and Meghan have spoken to Winfrey for a two-part primetime special due to be aired by CBS on 7 March.