Meghan And Harry Had These Demands For TV Networks Before Oprah Interview Could Air

If you were a TV network that bet on the Oprah Winfrey interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, you would have made bank on a gamble that might have looked a bit steep, but the payoffs were tremendous in the end. The two hour special was viewed by an average of 11.3 million viewers in the United Kingdom when it aired over ITV on Monday night. It even peaked at 12.3 million at one stage, and Deadline, which reported on the viewership says the show ended up becoming the biggest TV event of the year for Britain. ITV also said an additional 2.2 million viewers tuned in via its online streaming service.

If you thought that was a head-turning viewership number, you should compare that with the number of folks that were drawn to watch the Royal Couple spill their tea across the pond. According to Reuters, 17.1 million Americans tuned in for the televised March 7 special in which Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sat down with Oprah Winfrey to set the record straight on why the couple left the United Kingdom and gave up their royal duties. CBS paid somewhere between $7 to $9 million for the TV special's lucrative rights from Winfrey's Harpo Productions and also licensed the interview in international markets, according to Forbes. Meanwhile, ITV hints it could have paid $1.4 million for the interview — far less than CBS did, but still an eyebrow-raising amount of money. CEO Carolyn McCall says the bidding war was "frenzied" — but worth it.

They were ready to talk: Oprah Winfrey

The purchase didn't come without demands from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The Daily Mail reports that Prince Harry and his wife had four non-negotiable rules for their interview, including that host broadcasters must run the interview in full and without any editing, which included the synopsis provided for program guides. Networks were also banned from editing a selection of provided ads, and broadcasters could only use approved still images for promotions.

Winfrey appeared on CBS This Morning on March 8 to add her commentary to the bombshell interview and revealed the reason she believed the couple agreed to the interview. "I think they agreed to do it, wanted to do it, were ready to do it, because when you have been lied about for a series of years ... if in your office, or your own family, somebody is saying things about you that are not true, and how hurtful that is," she said. "Imagine that over a period of months and even years and you know it isn't true."

Meghan and Harry dropped several bombshells

The Daily Mail called Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's interview "the most extraordinary royal interview since his mother spoke to the BBC's Martin Bashir in 1995," and with good reason. The couple, who now live in California with their 22-month-old son Archie, dropped numerous bombshells, including that his father Prince Charles stopped taking Harry's phone calls and cut him off financially.

Meghan also revealed that someone in the royal family, whom the couple refused to name, expressed concern over what Archie's skin color would be when he was born, and set the record straight on her supposed feud with Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge. According to ABC News, Markle discussed a tabloid headline that claimed she had made Kate cry during wedding preparations, however, it was Kate who made Meghan cry. The Duchess of Sussex made sure to note that Kate apologized with gifts.

Incidents such as that also led Meghan to have suicidal ideation. "I share this because there's so many people who are afraid to voice that they need help," Meghan shared. "And I know personally how hard it is to not just voice it, but when you voice it to be told no."

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a hotline for individuals in crisis or for those looking to help someone else. To speak with a certified listener, call 1-800-273-8255.

British public don't seem to be swayed by the interview

While the interview was widely viewed on British television, it didn't appear to move the needle too much as far as the public was concerned. The BBC said a government poll conducted to gauge sentiment showed that the public was split 32 percent to 32 percent, when asked whether Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were treated fairly by the Royal Family or not; the remaining 36 percent said they didn't know. According to The Telegraph, when the question of supporting the Queen and members of the Royal Family came up, 38 percent said they would, 18 percent said they would support Harry and Meghan, and 30 percent said neither. But vote was also split along age lines — younger people were more apt to sympathize with Harry and Meghan than those over 65.

If you happen to be waiting for a statement from Buckingham Palace, you may need to wait a while. Depending on who the Queen listens to, that could today, or not at all, if PR expert and former Royal family adviser Alastair Campbell said. "I think, is a pretty extraordinary and a pretty explosive media frenzy, but that ultimately is what it is. So I'm not sure I would advise them to do anything much beyond what they are doing — which is not very much" (via The Telegraph)