As expected, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey on March 7, 2021 scored very high ratings. The hype surrounding the interview helped solidify that it would be the most-watched program of the evening, but the numbers that have been released are fairly massive. According to CNN Business, the ratings are “a testament to the public’s curiosity about the royal couple.” The outlet also suggested that viewers’ faith in Winfrey as an interviewer was part of the program’s success as well.
But, before we get to the numbers, let’s set the stage. The Super Bowl is almost always the most watched television event of the year. In 2021, the Super Bowl garnered nearly 100 million viewers, according to CNN Business. The show that premiered directly after the big game — The Equalizer – had an audience of 22 million. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Meghan and Harry’s interview with Winfrey was “the biggest audience for any non-sports program on the broadcast networks this season.”
Read on to find out the ratings in the U.S. and in the UK.
Meghan and Harry's interview became the 'biggest TV show of the year' in the U.K.
According to CNN Business, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey drew in some 17.1 million viewers. The numbers were supplied by CBS, which cited Nielsen data for the figures. Given that CBS paid Winfrey’s Harpo Productions somewhere between $7 and $9 million for the rights to air the program (via The Wall Street Journal), it’s safe to say that the turnout was worth the payout.
Something very similar played out in the U.K. While the numbers were lower, the Meghan and Harry interview was the “biggest TV show of the year in Britain outside of news,” according to Deadline. Broadcast on ITV, the program captured the attention of 11.3 million viewers when it aired on March 8, 2021, according to the outlet. ITV also had an additional 2.2 million viewers tune in via ITV Hub, which is its streaming service.
The most-viewed program in the U.K. before the interview was the finale of The Masked Singer U.K., which had some 8.6 million viewers in February (via Deadline). All in all, it’s clear to see that Meghan and Harry’s interview was one that people were extremely invested in, to say the very least.
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