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Harry and Meghan Interview Cost CBS At Least $7M

Reports say the broadcaster paid Oprah millions to air Sunday's special
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2021 6:10 AM CST

(Newser) – CBS is expecting some seriously big ratings from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's bombshell interview this Sunday, but it reportedly seriously cost them. Per the Wall Street Journal, the broadcaster won out among competitors vying for the special with a bid of at least $7 million or upwards of $9 million, which enriches producer Oprah Winfrey and her company Harpo Productions, not Markle and Harry (who were not paid for the special, per People). The tidy sum affords CBS rights to air in the US as well as abroad in places like the UK, where Page Six notes Buckingham palace is poised to air "a pre-emptive show of unity." The special will reportedly feature the queen, Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Charles, and Camilla as they mark Commonwealth Day a day early and just hours prior to the much-anticipated sit-down.

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As for what the interview will include, Winfrey says to expect "some pretty shocking" statements from the couple. And buildup toward the special has included what the Times of London called a "a pre-emptive strike" from Buckingham Palace in order to head off any bad PR that could stem from Markle's revelations. Last week, the palace announced in a "highly unusual statement" that it plans to launch an investigation of claims Markle bullied staff members while living at Kensington Palace. While those allegations emerged after Sunday's special was already taped, one teaser seems to show Markle launch a pre-emptive strike of her own: "There is an active role the firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us." The 2-hour special airs Sunday at 8pm ET. (Read more Meghan Markle stories.)

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