Business Insider Edition

A top Netflix exec dangled the prospect of an Obama-style deal with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Kieran Corcoran , Business Insider US
 Jan 22, 2020, 08:16 AM
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry leave an event at London's Canada House in January 2020, shortly before announcing their intention to step down as senior royals.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images
  • Ted Sarandos, the Chief Content Officer at Netflix, said he would be interested in working with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
  • The royal couple effectively quit their work as royals over the weekend, and hope to go into business instead.
  • The specifics are vague, but the couple are said to admire Barack and Michelle Obama's trajectory since leaving the White House.
  • The Obamas signed a deal with Netflix in 2018, said to be worth around $50 million (R724 million).
  • For more stories go to the Business Insider South Africa homepage.

A senior Netflix executive welcomed the prospect of signing a deal with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, potentially opening a door for the couple to go into business after effectively quitting the British royal family.

Ted Sarandos, Netflix's Chief Content Officer, responded to a question from journalists about a potential deal with the words "Who wouldn't be interested? Yes, sure."

The exchange, reported by Britain's Press Association from a Los Angeles industry event, could give the royal couple the chance to emulate Barack and Michelle Obama, whose post-White House careers they are said to admire.

The Obamas signed a deal with Netflix in 2018 to produces series and movies for streaming. The financial terms have not been announced, but the deal is rumoured to be worth around $50 million (R724 million).

Sarandos's hint comes after Buckingham Palace announced the terms of Harry and Meghan's departure as senior members of the royal family.

The couple will be free to strike commercial deals - like a partnership with Netflix - but must cease to use their "royal highness" titles and will stop formally representing the Queen.

The terms of separation were harsher than those Harry and Meghan had publicly lobbied for when announcing their intention to "step back" from life as senior royals.

They will also have to repay the cost of a $3 million (R43 million) refurbishment to Frogmore Cottage, their residence in the grounds of Windsor Castle, and will now pay the Queen to rent it rather than getting to live there for free.

The exact shape of Meghan and Harry's post-royal life is yet to be decided.

The Daily Mail newspaper reported that the couple has been receiving advice from the Obamas, on the grounds that they admire their ability to pivot from prominent public roles to a private life in which they remain popular, respected, and can earn significant amounts of money.

(Other reports have disputed this.)

According to Business Insider's Taylor Borden and Connor Perrett, if Meghan and Harry make smart choices they could easily leverage their fame to create a $1 billion (R14 billion) brand.

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