CBS pays princely sum for Oprah interview, earns royally via ad spots

Oprah interview CBS

The licence to air the interview by Oprah was reportedly bought by CBS in a deal worth somewhere between $7 million and $9 million.

Since the last two days, social media has been abuzz with anecdotes and clippings from Oprah Winfrey’s royal interview, which was aired by CBS. The interest in the interview was centred around stories shared by Prince Harry and Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle, of racial bias and why the couple left Buckingham Palace.

According to a The Wall Street Journal report, CBS paid a license fee of between $7 million and $9 million for the rights to air Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle. The network was seeking roughly $325,000 for 30 seconds of commercial time during the program — roughly twice the usual amount for a Sunday night broadcast, the report adds.

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Another interesting aspect of the interview was how the global audiences reacted to the advertisements shown in commercial breaks during the US broadcast of the interview. These were people who were watching the interview on the CBS website using VPN — the buzz around the interview was such that people didn’t want to wait for the UK broadcast (where they would not have seen the original ads due to the ban on direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising).

Their shock was focussed on the volume of pharmaceutical advertisements they got to see during the broadcast. The US and New Zealand are the only two nations where prescription medication ads are legally allowed to be broadcasted on TV. For most foreign audiences, this was something entirely new — and shocking.

According to preliminary Neilsen figures, the two-hour-long interview attracted 17.1 million viewers on CBS. Though Buckingham Palace is yet to comment on the remarks made by Prince and Duchess during the interview, several conversations — overwhelmingly negative for the royal family — have been sparked on social media. These majorly include experiences of racial discrimination and stigma around mental health issues.

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