Talking isn’t cheap when it comes to Oprah Winfrey, Prince Harry, and the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle.
CBS VIAC 3.28%
is paying a licensing fee of between $ 7 million and $ 9 million for the rights to broadcast Ms Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex, according to people familiar with the pact.
The two-hour interview is scheduled for Sunday on CBS at 8 pm ET, following the popular network news magazine “60 Minutes.” Sunday is one of the nights with the highest television consumption.
As part of the agreement between CBS and Ms. Winfrey’s production company, Harpo Productions, the network also has rights to license the special in international markets. In the UK, the interview will air Monday on ITV. CBS is a unit of ViacomCBS Inc.
A spokeswoman for the couple said they are not being compensated for the interview.
CBS was looking for roughly $ 325,000 for 30 seconds of commercial time during the show, according to ad buyers, roughly double the normal price of ad time in that time frame.
Harpo also launched Comcast Body
NBC and Walt Disney Co.
ABC, said people familiar with the situation.
Ms. Winfrey has ties to CBS. She had a brief stint as a member of the “60 Minutes” crew and has been friends with CBS News host Gayle King. Additionally, CBS owns the company that distributed Ms. Winfrey’s daytime talk show.
Prince Harry and Ms Markle said last year that they would be walking away from the British royal family. His departure has been difficult. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as they are known, wanted to trademark “Sussex Royal”, but Buckingham Palace officials said no.
The Sussexes moved to Montecito, California, and have targeted various ventures to create audio and video content, including a five-year deal with Netflix. Inc.
Which is valued in the $ 100 million range, according to people with knowledge of the deal.
The couple no longer receive a stipend from Prince Harry’s father, Prince Charles, or funds from the UK taxpayer.
Interest in the interview has heated up in recent days after clips promoting it were posted in which the couple talk about why they wanted to leave Buckingham Palace.
High-priced television interviews used to be a staple of broadcast television. The networks would fight each other to get the top news creators or celebrities. While television news divisions say they are reluctant to pay subjects for interviews, they often end up licensing images or paying high fees to consultants to get the topic.
In this case, CBS News is not participating in the interview or promoting itself as a news event. The special is being scheduled by CBS’s entertainment division.
—Max Colchester contributed to this article.
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It appeared in the print edition of March 6, 2021 as ‘CBS to Pay Royally for Winfrey’s Sussexes Interview’.