CBS is reportedly paying Oprah Winfrey’s production company as much as $9million to air her interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle this Sunday.
The television broadcasting company is dishing out $7million to $9million in license fees for rights to air Winfrey’s sit-down with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, people with knowledge on the deal told The Wall Street Journal on Friday.
Under the agreement between CBS and Winfrey’s company Harpo Productions, the network can also license the interview internationally.
Prince Harry and Meghan, who is subject to a Buckingham Palace probe on allegations she bullied staff, are not getting compensation for the special, a spokeswoman for them told the newspaper.
CBS asked for about $325,000 for 30 seconds of commercial time during the special, which is double the typical price for advertisement time of that length, according to ad buyers.
The two-hour special is set to air on CBS at 8pm ET on Sunday and on ITV in the UK on Monday.
Harpo Productions had also pitched the interview to ABC and NBC, the sources said.
Winfrey is connected to CBS in a several ways.
The talk show host was a special contributor for the network’s 60 Minutes show and has long been a friend of CBS News anchor Gayle King.
CBS also owns the company that distributed Winfrey’s talk show.
Meghan and Prince Harry’s interview will be broadcast as the world watches the ongoing clash between the couple and the royal family that includes a new probe.
On Tuesday, The Times reported that royal staff accused Meghan of “driving out” two personal assistants and a former aide and called her and her husband “outrageous bullies.”
Buckingham Palace launched an investigation into the claims the following day and hours later, a 30-second clip of Meghan and Prince Harry’s interview with Winfrey was released.
In the preview, Winfrey asked Meghan how she felt about “the Palace hearing you speak your truth."
“I don't know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us,” Meghan replied.
She continued: “And, if that comes with risk of losing things, there is a lot that has been lost already.”
Meghan also claimed that the Palace blocked her from doing the interview with Winfrey and said, “I’m finally able to speak for myself.”
Royal aides said the Palace and Queen “do not have an advance copy” of the interview with Winfrey and will have access to it at the same time as other viewers, The Mirror reported.
Meghan apparently planned the bombshell interview with Winfrey three years before she married Prince Harry.
Ahead of the release of the full interview, King, a close friend of Meghan, said the Duchess of Sussex was “vilified” and criticized the “oppressive” royal family.
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