Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s first main interview since splitting with the British Royal Family has sparked a scorching bidding battle within the U.Okay. for rights to air the extremely coveted sit-down.
Sources say Variety that Comcast-backed pay-TV operator Sky and free-to-air gamers ITV and the BBC are all bidding for the CBS primetime particular, hosted by Oprah Winfrey. It’s not believed that streaming giants Amazon or Netflix are within the operating.
It’s understood that ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group, which will probably be promoting this system abroad, is eager for the interview to land on a free-to-air broadcaster, which might guarantee a major profile within the U.Okay.
It’s doubtless that negotiations will come all the way down to a straight shoot-up between the U.Okay. public broadcasters. ITV, particularly, has a confirmed observe file internet hosting content material that includes the British Royals, notably the annual “Royal Variety Performance,” which is attended by senior members of the Royal Family.
It’s additionally value noting that Markle and Prince Harry gave certainly one of their most high-profile interviews so far to ITV journalist Tom Bradby as a part of the broadcaster’s 2019 documentary “Harry & Meghan: An African Journey,” throughout which Bradby famously requested Megan whether or not she was okay — a really human gesture that Markle even referenced in her current op-ed within the New York Times.
The timing of the CBS particular is also an element for whomever wins the rights — and will pose some head-scratching for the BBC.
The Queen’s annual Commonwealth broadcast is because of air on BBC One on Sunday, March 7, the identical day because the CBS interview. Pre-recorded at Windsor Castle, the published is a part of the Anita Rani-hosted program “A Celebration For Commonwealth Day,” which can even characteristic the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Countess of Wessex.
Last 12 months, the Commonwealth program aired at 2:15 p.m. U.Okay. time, nevertheless it’s nonetheless unknown when this 12 months’s version will air. If it airs within the night, the BBC — if it wins the rights — might be taking a look at a close to back-to-back block of royal programming, which will not be one of the best optics for the public-service broadcaster. The couple’s interview is because of air on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/PST, which will probably be 1 a.m. within the U.Okay.
It’s noteworthy that the streamers have not jumped on the CBS particular, significantly as Markle and Prince Harry have a multi-year deal in place with Netflix. But it isn’t altogether shocking: essentially the most logical house when it comes to viewership for such a high-profile, topical interview is undoubtedly a broadcaster, and regardless of the bitter divorce from the Royal Family and the barrage of destructive press whereas they have been dwelling and dealing within the U.Okay., Markle and Prince Harry have their share of supporters and followers in Britain.
Announced final week, Winfrey will first communicate with Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, about getting into royal life, marriage, motherhood, her philanthropic work and the way she handles life beneath the general public eye. The two will then be joined by Prince Harry to debate their transfer to the United States and future targets.
The particular is produced by Harpo Productions. Terry Wood and Tara Montgomery will govt produce, together with co-executive producer Brian Piotrowicz.