Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s first main interview since splitting with the British Royal Household has sparked a sizzling bidding struggle within the U.Ok. for rights to air the extremely coveted sit-down.
Sources inform Selection that Comcast-backed pay-TV operator Sky and free-to-air participant ITV are bidding for the CBS primetime particular, hosted by Oprah Winfrey. It’s not believed that streaming giants Amazon or Netflix are within the operating.
As of Tuesday night, a BBC supply has confirmed that the general public broadcaster is not concerned within the course of.
It’s understood that ViacomCBS International Distribution Group, which shall be promoting this system abroad, is eager for the interview to land on a free-to-air broadcaster, which might guarantee a big profile within the U.Ok.
ITV, particularly, has a confirmed observe file internet hosting content material that includes the British Royals, notably the annual “Royal Selection Efficiency,” which is attended by senior members of the Royal Household.
It’s additionally price noting that Markle and Prince Harry gave one among their most high-profile interviews thus 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 latest op-ed within the New York Instances.
The timing of the CBS particular is vital, and would have brought about issues for the BBC from an optics perspective.
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 Fortress, the published is a part of the Anita Rani-hosted program “A Celebration For Commonwealth Day,” which may also function the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Countess of Wessex.
Final 12 months, the Commonwealth program aired at 2:15 p.m. U.Ok. time, however it’s nonetheless unknown when this 12 months’s version will air. If it airs within the night, the BBC would have been taking a look at a close to back-to-back block of royal programming. The couple’s interview is because of air on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/PST, which shall be 1 a.m. within the U.Ok.
It’s noteworthy that the streamers haven’t jumped on the CBS particular, notably as Markle and Prince Harry have a multi-year deal in place with Netflix. Nevertheless it’s not altogether stunning: probably the most logical house by way of viewership for such a high-profile, topical interview is undoubtedly a broadcaster, and regardless of the bitter divorce from the Royal Household and the barrage of damaging press whereas they had been residing and dealing within the U.Ok., Markle and Prince Harry have their share of supporters and followers in Britain.
Introduced final week, Winfrey will first communicate with Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, about moving into royal life, marriage, motherhood, her philanthropic work and the way she handles life below the general public eye. The 2 will then be joined by Prince Harry to debate their transfer to the USA and future targets.
The particular is produced by Harpo Productions. Terry Wooden and Tara Montgomery will govt produce, together with co-executive producer Brian Piotrowicz.