In a competitive situation, ITV has secured the exclusive UK television rights to CBS’s blockbuster interview between Oprah Winfrey and defected British royals Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
ITV has fought off competition from the likes of Sky and Discovery to land the rights to what promises to be an explosive interview, in which Winfrey makes clear that there is no subject “off-limits.”
The ITV deal is reportedly worth around £1 million ($1.4M), with the MailOnline first reporting on February 22 that the broadcaster was the frontrunner to land the interview. Variety first reported on Sky and Discovery’s interest.
ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group is repping global sales for the special, which broadcasts on CBS at 8PM Sunday, March 7. It is titled: Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special. ITV will air the special at 9PM on Monday, March 8.
Kevin Lygo, ITV managing director of media and entertainment, said: “This interview is already a national talking point and ITV is pleased to be able to offer UK audiences the opportunity to see it.”
The interview is sure to make waves in the UK following the Duke and Duchess’ decision to step back from their royal duties and move to Los Angeles, where they are now expecting their second child.
CBS has already offered a glimpse of what to expect from the conversation, with Prince Harry revealing that life has been “incredibly tough” for he and Markle in the shadow of the British press.
In reference to his mother, Princess Diana, he adds: “I’m just really relieved and happy to be sitting here talking to you with my wife by my side because I can’t begin to imagine what it was like for her going through this process by herself all those years ago.”
Oprah with Meghan and Harry is produced by Harpo Productions. Executive producers are Terry Wood and Tara Montgomery. Brian Piotrowicz is co-executive producer.
Following the recording of the interview, the Times of London published an explosive report after obtaining an email sent by Markle’s former Kensington Palace communications secretary, Jason Knauf, raising concerns about her “bullying” behavior. Markle’s spokesman told the newspaper that the report was a “smear campaign” and that the Duchess of Sussex was upset by the claims because she has been “the target of bullying herself and is deeply committed to supporting those who have experienced pain and trauma.”
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