Meghan Markle dragged into feud between ITV and BBC over 'inflating prices'

Meghan Markle dragged into feud between ITV and BBC over 'inflating prices'

Watch: Michael Cole discuss Meghan's new lifestyle brand

GB News
Hannah Ross

By Hannah Ross

Published: 24/04/2024

- 19:59

An ITV director criticised the BBC for spending licence fee money on US series including Suits

  • Meghan starred in the US hit legal drama Suits for seven seasons
  • The BBC are in the middle of a cost-cutting programme to cut its spending by £500m
  • Have your say: Do you think the BBC should be acquiring US programmes? Just click the comment button above now

Meghan Markle has been dragged into a feud between ITV and the BBC over “inflating prices”.

The head of ITV has accused the BBC of “bleating” about cost-cutting while it splashes out on American programmes like Meghan’s Suits drama.

Meghan played Rachel Zane, a character in Suits, for seven seasons but quit after meeting Prince Harry.

The programme went on to run for two more seasons without the duchess and aired its finale in 2019.

Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle starred in the hit TV show Suits before marrying Prince Harry


The BBC announced last month that it had acquired all nine seasons of the American legal drama Suits in a deal with NBCUniversal.

Kevin Lygo, director of television at ITV, said that the corporation outbid ITV for the series and claimed it was the wrong use of licence fee money.

ITV complained to Ofcom last year that the BBC increased its spending on US-made acquisitions to chase ratings.

Lygo voiced his frustration at the BBC bidding on US TV shows during an address at the Voice of the Listener and Viewer conference.

Meghan Markle

The BBC has acquired all nine seasons of the American legal drama Suits


Talking about the cost pressures on public service broadcasters, Lygo said: “You hear the BBC bleating about it and yet they have all the money in the world.

“Why do they buy all that American stuff? I’ve had a go at so many different BBC people about this.

“They just bought Suits, the thing with Meghan Markle. You think: why? They outbid us, by the way. What’s that got to do with licence fee payers’ money?”

ITV said in its submission last year: “The BBC competes in the market against other broadcasters, such as ITV, inflating the price at which the content is purchased.”

The BBC is in the middle of a cost-cutting programme; the corporation plans to cut its spending by £500million.

However, the BBC did not disclose how much it paid for Suits, which it acquired as a package with two other US shows, St Denis Medical and The Best Man: The Final Chapters.

Sue Deeks, head of BBC programme acquisition, said at the time of the acquisition: “This is a really exciting and enjoyable trio of star-studded series: the hotly-anticipated comedy, St Denis Medical, the sassy, romantic comedy-drama, The Best Man: The Final Chapters, and the smart and stylish legal drama, Suits.

“We couldn't be more delighted to bring them all to BBC viewers.”

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