• Royal expert Neil Sean weighed in on what Netflix's subscriber loss could mean for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's production deal
  • He claimed the couple is facing "backlash" for not delivering content nearly two years after signing their deal with Netflix
  • The royal expert suggested that Markle and Prince Harry may no longer be "viewership worthy"

Netflix may be dealing with the potential problem that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are no longer "viewership worthy," nearly two years after the streaming service signed a multimillion-dollar deal with the couple, a royal expert has claimed.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have yet to release any content for Netflix since announcing back in September 2020 that they signed a multi-year deal to produce documentaries, docuseries, feature films, scripted shows and children’s programming exclusively for the streaming service via their production company, Archewell Productions. The production deal was worth over 100 million, an unnamed source told Us Weekly at the time.

Markle's animated series "Pearl" was reportedly one of the projects Netflix shut down this year as the company made cuts after losing 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter. Recently, the streamer reported losing almost 1 million more subscribers between April and July, as rival streamers challenge its dominance and price hikes continue to take a toll, according to Deadline.

Neil Sean, a royal commentator and correspondent who has been featured on Sky News, Fox News, NBC News, MSNBC, Access Hollywood and other news outlets, weighed in on what the subscriber loss could mean for Markle and Prince Harry's partnership with Netflix in a new video.

"[Netflix's subscriber loss] is really not a shock when you think about it because we're all going through the cost of living crisis around the world," Sean said on his YouTube channel. "We all have to cut corners. Netflix is no different."

"Lots of people were watching it [without paying], while [Netflix] was still paying a lot of money to big production companies like Archewell to make programs we've never seen," he continued, referencing the streamer's ongoing crackdown on password-sharing.

Sean claimed that Prince Harry and Markle are facing "backlash" over not having delivered any project despite allegedly receiving a "substantial amount" from Netflix to kick-start their production company almost two years ago. International Business Times could not independently verify this information.

The royal correspondent also claimed that Netflix was now hoping to make sure that Prince Harry's docuseries about the Invictus Games, the Paralympic-style games founded by the royal in 2014, will "trail on the back of" the upcoming season of "The Crown."

"Harry and Meghan were signed in an affluent time. Lots of money around pre-pandemic, people had different priorities and the world wasn't in the turmoil it's in today. Fast forward a couple of years, and people have now changed their viewing habits and are looking to cut corners. Are two ex-royals who are worth millions really now viewership worthy? That's the problem that Netflix has," Sean claimed.

Sean speculated that Markle and Prince Harry would be in a "very difficult" situation if their production deal ends up falling through.

"Once a giant like that takes that away from you, where do you go from there?" the royal commentator continued. "Now what's really happening is this — the public voted with their wallets, and they've decided that content or no content, Netflix is simply now not value for money even with royals attached."

In addition to "Pearl," which Markle was set to executive produce, Netflix also scrapped the children's series "Dino Daycare" and "Boons and Curses," as well as the "Bone" comics-to-TV adaptation, an adaptation of Roald Dahl's "The Twits" and "Toil and Trouble," according to Reuters and The Wrap.

But Markle and Prince Harry's production company is still developing works for Netflix, including "Heart of Invictus" and a rumored docuseries that the couple has been working on for more than a year, Page Six reported.

An unnamed source recently told the outlet that Netflix chiefs hope to release the Sussexes' docuseries shortly after "The Crown" Season 5 airs in November.

The source claimed that Netflix "wants to make sure they get in there and don't get scooped" by Prince Harry's memoir, which is also due in the fall.

Netflix and reps for the Sussexes have not issued a statement on the rumored docuseries or its potential release date.

Prince Harry (R) and Meghan Markle (L), the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, attend the UN General Assembly on Nelson Mandela International Day
Prince Harry (R) and Meghan Markle (L), the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, attend the UN General Assembly on Nelson Mandela International Day AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY