Oprah Winfrey’s exclusive interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle drew an audience of 17.1 million viewers to CBS VIAC Sunday evening, according to preliminary overnight ratings data compiled by Nielsen NLSN . That number will grow as final ratings figures are released—and may grow significantly as same-day ratings and viewership across digital platforms is added.
The ratings delivery is the largest prime time audience for any entertainment special in the 2020-2021 television season to date—and stands as the most-watched entertainment special since the Academy Awards on February 9, 2020.
The special was the most-watched show on the night, and led among viewers 25-55 and viewers 18-49, the key demographics valued by advertisers. CBS notes that the conversation dominated social media, with 12 billion impressions across social media.
The interview, which aired from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET, featured several newsworthy revelations, including the bombshell allegation that members of the Royal Family expressed concerns about the skin color of Harry and Meghan’s first child. Prince Harry also said his family had cut off financial support—and security—when Harry and Meghan decided to step away from full-time duties as working members of the Royal Family.
The ratings draw compares with broadcast television’s usual high-water mark, the Super Bowl, which drew 96.4 million viewers across all platforms, including those who watched it on CBS television, as well as viewers who streamed the game on CBS.com, CBS Sports and the NFL’s digital platforms. Nielsen reported the CBS viewership as 92 million viewers, which was down from the Super Bowl a year earlier, which drew 100.4 million viewers on Fox.
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The Sunday night broadcast benefitted from huge publicity—and dominated social media throughout the evening Sunday. Oprah talked about the interview—and the huge reaction to it—with CBS’ Gayle King on CBS This Morning Monday:
CBS reportedly paid at least $7 million dollars for the broadcast rights of the interview, which was not produced by CBS News, but rather was a production of Oprah’s Harpo Productions. The interview is scheduled to air in the United Kingdom Monday night.
Source: Forbes – Business