There are no special effects and the set is just a few wicker chairs, yet Oprah Winfrey‘s much anticipated sit-down interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will be one of the priciest television events of the season.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that CBS paid Harpo Productions, Winfrey’s company, somewhere between $7 million and $9 million. (That’s between £5,057,803.80 to £6,502,890.60 in British sterling, to keep the U.K.-U.S. dialogue going.)
CBS is charging $325,000 for every 30 seconds of commercial airtime during the two hour broadcast, which will begin at the end of 60 Minutes on Sunday. (For comparison’s sake, the Super Bowl, also broadcast by CBS, runs at $5.6 million for a 30 second spot.)
Harpo Productions also retained rights to license the interview in international markets. ITV outbid other UK broadcasters to air the interview, to the tune of $1.4 million.
The Sussexes are not being paid for the interview, according to a spokesperson.
In a teaser clip released on Friday, Oprah and Meghan talk about how many hurdles they’ve needed to jump simply to talk in the first place. Meghan said being able to speak for herself is now “liberating,” and calls the early days of her marriage as entering into “a construct.”
As the moments tick down before the television time bomb goes off, there remain some who feel the broadcast should be delayed as the 99-year-old Prince Philip (Meghan’s grandfather-in-law) remains hospitalized after a heart procedure. Sources say the relationship between the California-based Harry and Meghan and the Palace is at “all-time low,” especially in the wake of accusations that Meghan bullied two staff members out of Kensington Palace. Meghan has denied the claims, and called the report “a calculated smear campaign.”
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