Why Meghan and Harry’s Interview is such a Historic TV Event

Why Meghan and Harry's interview is such a historic TV event

ROYAL:  It is the TF1 group in France that obtained the exclusive broadcasting rights and TMC can expect a record audience watching Meghan and Harry by Oprah Winfrey.

  • After CBS in the United States, it is the turn of European channels to broadcast this Monday evening the interview of Meghan and Harry by Oprah Winfrey.
  • In France, it is broadcast in its entirety in primetime on TMC from 9:15 p.m.

The interview rocked Buckingham Palace. The French public will discover this Monday evening the interview given by Meghan and Harry to Oprah Winfrey. The interview will be broadcast in full at 9:15 p.m. on TMC, just after  Daily.

The nearly two hours of intimate confessions, punctuated by happy news and shocking revelations, were broadcast on Sunday on the American channel CBS which had the premiere. According to initial estimates, which should be revised upwards, more than 17.1 million viewers have watched the interview. This is already the best score outside the sports program for the 2020-2021 season, more than the Golden Globes and the Emmy Awards combined.

An interview without a filter

Oprah Winfrey had been waiting for this meeting for years. “She had dreamed of it since their wedding in the spring of 2018, and at the time Meghan had told her that it was not possible, that it was not the right timing”, explains  Thomas Pernette, a journalist at  Point de view and specialist in crowned heads. It was, therefore, necessary for Meghan and Harry to emancipate themselves from the royal family so that she obtained this interview, the first speech of the couple since their departure for the United States. And what a speech … While their relations are more than strained with the royal family, they have chosen to reveal themselves, without filter and without taboos. The couple claim, in particular, to have witnessed racist comments from some members of the royal family regarding the skin colour of their child Archie. Meghan also recounts the discomfort she felt when she lived by their side and the suicidal thoughts that ran through her.

This liberation of speech echoes that of Lady Diana in 1995, which made the crown tremble. “The shock wave is almost as strong,” said Thomas Pernette. Today, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are freeing themselves from the monarchical institution and taking the floor to tell their side of the story. Diana had done the same thing in 1995, she had been on television and had regained this freedom of speech. 23 million Britons were then at the rendezvous on the BBC.

An interview that is worth gold

The couple Meghan and Harry arouse the curiosity of the crowds. In 2018, her marriage was watched by nearly two billion viewers around the world, including more than seven million in France and almost 30 million in the United States. For events of this magnitude, the channels are ready to go.

According to the Wall Street Journal, reported by Les Echos, the CBS channel would have spent at least 7 million dollars (nearly 6 million euros), to obtain the broadcasting rights for the interview conducted by Oprah Winfrey. An expensive but relatively profitable affair … The 30 seconds of advertising broadcast during the program would have sold for nearly $ 350,000, add our colleagues, or double the usual rate on a large chain of this type on a Sunday evening.

And that’s not counting sales abroad. As reported by several British media, including The Guardian, the British channel ITV, which broadcasts the interview this Monday evening in Great Britain, would have spent 1 million pounds (1,165,000 euros).

Audience record in sight

What about TMC? “It is a significant investment”, answers Xavier Gandon, director of the antennas of TF1, who considers this interview as “a much-awaited speech in the news of the royal family”. “We had expressed an interest with the production company of Oprah Winfrey and CBS, the American channel which co-produced the interview, as soon as we heard about the interview. They finalized the sale and negotiation last week, ”he said. For the director of the antennas, two levers probably weighed in the balance: the sum proposed for the acquisition of exclusive rights and the visibility and quality of the proposal. “The fact that we offer a prime time slot on a channel like TMC behind a very popular program like Daily, it is also included in their criteria of choice, ”he analyzes.

And it must be said that with this interview, TMC has a good chance of breaking down the audience side. Broadcast on Sunday evening on LCI, also owned by the TF1 group, the documentary  Harry and Meghan, the rebels of the crown, attracted 419,000 viewers, with a peak of 600,000. A historic record for the chain, which is pleased in a press release to have outstripped its competitors specializing in continuous information. For the interview with Meghan and Harry, TMC hopes to exceed the average of its premiums, or 700,000 viewers.

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