Report: CBS Paid At Least $7 Million For Oprah’s Interview With Meghan Markle And Prince Harry

In this handout image provided by Harpo Productions and released on March 5, 2021, Oprah Winfrey … [+]

CBS expects a huge audience to tune in Sunday evening to watch the network’s exclusive interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle—and the network is charging advertisers a premium rate of about $325,000 for 30 seconds of air time during the program, according to ad buyers who spoke with The Wall Street Journal. That’s about twice what advertisers would normally pay CBS for a 30-second spot in that time period.

The high interest in the interview—and high cost for advertisers—led CBS to extend the special to a full two hours.

UNSPECIFIED – UNSPECIFIED: In this handout image provided by Harpo Productions and released on March … [+]

According to the WSJ, CBS beat out rival networks ABC and NBC for the rights to air the interview, produced by Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions. CBS paid a license fee of between $7 million and $9 million in the agreement, which gives CBS the rights to license the special in international markets including the U.K., where the interview is set to air Monday on ITV, according to sources familiar with the agreement who spoke to The Journal.


CBS has promoted the special on the network’s news programs, with excerpts airing on The CBS Evening News and CBS This Morning. The special, Oprah with Meghan And Harry: A Primetime Special, airs immediately following the network’s flagship magazine show, 60 Minutes, typically one of the highest-rated shows of the week—but the interview was not produced by CBS News, and is airing as part of CBS Entertainment.

The interview runs from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET, and airs on CBS owned-and-operated stations and affiliates, as well as on The special will feature two parts: in the first segment, Oprah will have a one-on-one chat with Meghan, discussing everything from stepping into life as a royal to marriage and motherhood. In the second segment, Oprah and Meghan will be joined by Prince Harry to talk about the future—which includes the birth of their second child, expected in the Spring.

Mark Joyella is a five-time Emmy Award-winning journalist who worked at television stations in Miami, Orlando, Tampa and New York City. He’s also worked in cable news at