On March 27, 2021, Oprah Winfrey sat down with Meghan Markle, the princess of Sussex, and her husband, Harry, the Prince of Sussex.
Their scandalous chat covered various topics about their struggle with the royal family, racism, and their ultimate dismissal from the Royal Family of England.
Prince Harry married Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018, much to the dismay of his family. Meghan Markle was not deemed suitable for the royal family, but Harry married her anyway. The Royal Family shared their racist views toward Meghan and the skin color of their baby before Archie, the first child, was born.
Meghan and Harry decided that they wanted to take a break from the royal family when they faced jarring media allegations, pressure from the inside, and racism toward Meghan. The couple left England and retreated to California to carry out a life remiss of royal obligations.
And although Harry despises the press and media, claiming they have his mother’s blood on their hands, on March 7, 2021, he sat down with Oprah during an interview broadcasted all over the world.
But if you are looking to retroactively watch the interview from Canada, you might be struggling to find it. Is it possible to watch the interview anywhere?
Where Can I Watch The Meghan Markle Interview?
Unlucky for you, the interview is actually no longer available anywhere online. Subscription services do not show it and it is no longer available.
Let’s dig into this mystery.
It Was Originally Aired And Streamed On CBS
When the interview came out, it ran over its allotted two-hour slot because the trio kept divulging their history with the Royal family. The interview aired on CBS to 17 million viewers. When the show dropped, you could stream it for 30 days after the interview on CBS and the CBS app, but that was it.
You only had one month to watch the program and since then, it has been virtually wiped from existence. You cannot find this interview on any streaming service due to a few reasons.
Why Can’t You Watch The Interview On Streaming Services?
When Oprah decided to interview Meghan Markle and Harry, her manager declined to seek out any kind of streaming platform. They did not want the interview to live forever and so they ignored any thoughts of Netflix, Hulu, HBO MAX, or any other server fit to host the interview for months and years to come.
Instead, her company wanted to set records and give her a huge audience, something they could track. They thought the best way to do that was to stream the interview via CBS.
Another reason the team, Harpo Productions, ignored subscription streaming services and channels that do not broadcast is for ratings. When her team scheduled this interview, they wanted to reach as many people as possible.
To do that, her team brainstormed the best method to reach the most people in the most affordable way. They also needed a way that would catch the majority of the world’s attention. To do that, they needed to carefully curate this plan.
The team spoke to CBS and arranged a deal with the broadcasting company. CBS would air the interview following 60 minutes, one of the most popular television programs airing today.
Millions of viewers would already be tuning into the program, and if they didn’t hear about the interview before 60 minutes, they definitely would once the show finished its segment. Another reason for CBS is that you do not need a subscription to tune into the channel.
Instead, you can use any cable plan or the CBS app. Plus, the decision to air the interview right after 60 Minutes proved effective since Oprah used to work on 60 Minutes for a brief stint in the late 2010s. Fans tuned in as well as those interested in hearing what the former royals had to say.
CBS started as a radio station in 1927. Arthur Judson founded the radio station, otherwise known as Columbia Broadcasting System, and in 1941, the company expanded its horizons to television in addition to radio. Some programs founded by CBS include The Twilight Zone, The Andy Griffith Show, and Gilligan’s Island.
CBS also influenced color television in a monumental way. It aired content in both black and white and color. Around the end of the 60s, most of CBS’ programs aired in bright colors instead of black and white.
The Interview Disappeared When CBS All Access Became Paramount Plus
The CBS app has since been renamed Paramount Plus, but when it was created in 2014, it was called CBS All Access and hosted programming from the CBS channel. You could watch original content and new content from the channel, including interviews.
At the time of the Meghan Markle interview, you could watch the interview on CBS All Access. All you had to do was go to the app store, download the app, and launch it.
Although you needed a subscription to use the CBS All Access app for most programs, the interview did not call for a paid subscription. All you had to do was open the app and click on the interview.
Suppose you could not watch the interview when it aired on TV. In that case, all you needed was internet access and a device that could access the internet because CBS.com also hosted the interview. On Oprah’s side, her team found the best way to reach the most people, but only for a month.
Since CBS is a broadcast company and the app has since turned to a subscription service, she couldn’t put the interview on Paramount Plus without violating her contract.
But, through the free streaming of the interview, CBS reaped a ton of monetary benefits from the interview. The interview reached over 80 countries and met over 17 million watchers.
So Why Else Did Oprah’s Team Avoid Subscription Services?
Oprah already had some deals with other subscription streaming services for other content. Including a deal with Apple TV. As most contracts go, there is tricky language in the fine print that makes navigating other venues difficult. So, Oprah’s deal with Apple TV started in 2018.
It did not state how many years the deal would run for, just that it would run for several years and includes The Oprah Conversation- a talk show in which Oprah interviews other high-profile celebrities about their lives, fame, and happiness.
Some guests include Elliot Page, Will Smith, and Eddie Murphy. Oprah’s Book Club– This used to be a short section on her original talk show. Oprah would take a few moments and collect her thoughts on the latest and best books out and share why she thinks you should read them.
Now, the segment turned into a full seasoned show. Her original book club segment faced a lot of backlash and criticism, but that didn’t stop her from pursuing the club. In fact, bookstores print copies of books with labels on the front, noting they are a part of Oprah’s book club.
Oprah Talks COVID-19 is another show on Apple TV that spurred her from her contract. This show ran from March 21 to April 14, 2020, right when COVID-19 shut the world down, and Oprah spoke to several professionals about the pandemic. This show only earned a 2.5 out of 10 on IMDB and although Oprah has a multi-year contract with Apple TV, her ratings and season run for these shows have not been high.
Meghan And Harry’s Contract Restrictions
Aside from preventing Oprah from airing the interview on Apple TV due to contract restrictions, Meghan Markle and Harry had a limiting deal themselves. So, right after the couple moved away from royal duties in England, they moved to California and signed a multi-year deal with Netflix.
This deal also did not specify how long the deal lasts, just that it will span several years and produce several types of original content about this couple. That includes but is not limited to movies, kid’s shows, documentaries, etc. The couple earned $100 million for the deal and has strict limitations within the contract.
What they were allowed to do in combination with the project was create a Spotify channel through the Netflix deal. The project titled Archewell Productions created a separate audio station for people to listen to various stories that might not be showcased on television with Archewell productions.
Of course, these new contracts came from Meghan and Harry not receiving any cash flow from the royal family due to their decided break. Just like Oprah, they could not put the interview on Netflix, but their reason was different.
Since they do not own the rights to Oprah’s interview of them, they had no ability to stream it. But, they cannot go against their Netflix agreement, so Oprah’s team did not try to strike a deal with Netflix.
So Who Owns The Interview?
Oprah and her team own the interview and show no signs of releasing it on any streaming service. To release it on Paramount Plus, they would have to give up some rights and sign more contracts since they own the interview and not CBS.
CBS just received collateral benefits for hosting a temporary platform for the release of the interview. There are some choppy clips reposted on YouTube for viewers to watch, but they do buffer and are not of great quality.
Many individuals who wanted to watch the interview took to Twitter to express their annoyance with CBS and Paramount Plus. Several people suggested that the platform rebranding itself and launching a highly-anticipated interview at the same time would’ve been great marketing if they could watch the interview on the rebranded site.
So, besides watching some shaky clips on YouTube, or some recaps of reposts on other sites, you cannot find the full Meghan Markle and Oprah interview anywhere. Whether it’s due to Oprah’s company’s greed, contract violations, or another reason entirely is up to interpretation.
When the interview launched, it aired twice, and viewers only had 30 days to watch it. Will anyone besides Oprah’s team ever see the interview again? Who knows?