The following content contains the tentative list of the most watched television broadcasts around the world in selected countries, with the corresponding peak viewership (or ratings share) records, the corresponding year of such broadcast, and the mentioned media research organizations tallying nationwide viewership records. However, the most watched television broadcast in any of the following nations can also be broadcast simultaneously in other countries and rank among their most watched television broadcasts as well.
On 20 July 1969, an estimated 530 million people watched the live global broadcast of the Apollo 11 moonlanding (this constituted around 14% of total population of the world at the time), despite the fact that the first moonwalk took place in the middle of the night in Europe (at 01:56 in Iceland; 02:56 in Ireland, Portugal and the United Kingdom; 03:56 in Andorra. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Yugoslavia and 04:56 in Finland, Greece and Turkey) and it was not broadcast in the Eastern Bloc (except in Romania (04:56) and Poland) (03:56).
The boxer Muhammad Ali drew record global television audiences during the 1970s to early 1980s. Estimates of Ali's worldwide television audiences for his "Rumble in the Jungle" fight against George Foreman in 1974, "Thrilla in Manila" fight against Joe Frazier in 1975, rematch against Leon Spinks in 1978, and "Last Hurrah" fight against Larry Holmes in 1980, range between 1 billion and 2 billion people. The 1996 Summer Olympics opening ceremony, where Muhammad Ali lit the torch, was watched by an estimated 3.5 billion viewers. The funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997 was watched by an estimated 2 billion people globally, making it the all-time most watched royal event on live television in the world.
The original Live Aid was a dual-venue benefit concert held on 13 July 1985. It became an ongoing music-based fundraising initiative. The original event was organised by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for relief of the ongoing Ethiopian famine. Billed as the "global jukebox", the event was held simultaneously at Wembley Stadium in London, England, United Kingdom (attended by 72,000 people) and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States (attended by about 100,000 people). Many similar events happened the same day in other countries, such as the Soviet Union, Canada, Japan, Yugoslavia, Austria, Australia and West Germany. It was one of the largest-scale television event of all time, watched across 150 nations, with an estimated global audience of 1.9 billion who watched the live broadcast.
In 1990, Roger Waters played a concert in Berlin known as The Wall – Live in Berlin to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall. The concert was subject to a live audience of 450,000 and was broadcast to 35 countries, with an estimated broadcasting audience of 500 million to 1 billion people.
Prominent personalities in the 1990s and 2000s such as David Hasselhoff and Mexico's Thalia (currently based in the U.S.) starred in primetime series such as the Las Tres Marias trilogy shows (Maria Mercedes, Marimar and Maria la del Barrio), Rosalinda and Baywatch, which were broadcast in about 180 countries and still remained among the world's most watched non-U.S.-produced television series.
U.S. television programming remains one of the most popular forms of entertainment worldwide. This trend was initiated by U.S.-made broadcast network soap operas and sitcoms such as Dallas, M*A*S*H, The Cosby Show, Seinfeld, Friends and The Big Bang Theory by the mid-2000s, and then in the late 2000s and 2010s by U.S. medical dramas and police procedurals such as House, and the CSI and NCIS franchises. All of these are currently syndicated in more than 100 countries, and rank among the most watched television series in the world, extending their dominance to a three-decade span.
In recent decades, the global popularity of U.S. television is rivaled by European television programming and television dramas from Latin America and Asia. The annual Eurovision Song Contest, considered to be one of the world's longest running and most watched reality television franchises, annually attracts a peak of 600 million viewers. Eurovision has consistently ranked among the all-time most watched live non-sports entertainment telecasts worldwide in the last 2 decades. Idols, airing since 2001, has the largest collective global franchise viewership in the world to date, shown in versions in over 150 countries worldwide and watched by an estimated 1.5 billion viewers.
The 2008 Summer Olympics opening ceremony holds the record for the largest viewing figure for any sports event, reaching an average daily audience of 593 million worldwide. More than 5 billion people saw some part of the 16-day coverage, including the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing-hosted Olympic games. The FIFA World Cup  has attracted an average of 3.2 billion viewers in 2010 and 2014, making it the most watched overall live event by average on television worldwide in the 21st century.
In 2010, over 1.1 billion people were reported to have watched the 2010–2011 Sydney New Year's Eve coverage, constituting approximately 16% of the world population at that time and still remains the most watched New Year's Eve live telecast in the world. As one of the first major New Year's celebrations globally each year, Sydney New Year's Eve annual coverage are live in all time zones in both Asia, Australia and Oceania on December 31, 2010 and January 1, 2011.
Few cable television programs have ranked among the world's most watched television broadcasts beginning the mid-2010s. In particular, notable scripted series like Game of Thrones, Sherlock and Doctor Who, originating from both the U.S. and UK, have been currently aired to more than 100 countries. The annual Miss Universe and Miss World pageants, headquartered in the U.S. and UK, respectively, and aired live to more than 190 countries yearly, are said to have each regularly attracted more than 500 million viewers and consistently ranks among the most watched live annual entertainment telecasts in the world.
Regional annual sporting events like the Super Bowl in the U.S., and the UEFA Champions League finals in Europe, televised live worldwide, have emerged among the world's most watched television broadcasts.
The 2015 Cricket World Cup is estimated to have been watched by over 1.5 billion people. The most widely watched match during the tournament was India vs. Pakistan, which is estimated to have drawn over 1 billion viewers.
Most reality television franchise broadcasts and international sporting events (which are aired in several countries) tend to comprise some of the most watched television programs, as tallied by their media research bases. Beginning the mid-2010s, the majority of the world's most watched television broadcasts, including all of the world's major international sporting events, are often broadcast live via satellite across virtually all of the world's time zones in seven continents.
|1||Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales||1997||ABC, Seven Network, Nine Network, Ten Network|
|2||Wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer||1981||ABC, Seven Network, Nine Network, Ten Network|
|3||2000 Summer Olympics closing ceremony||2000||Seven Network|
|4||2000 Summer Olympics opening ceremony||2000||Seven Network|
|5||Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton||2011||ABC, Seven Network, Nine Network, Ten Network|
|6||1984 Summer Olympics opening ceremony||1984||Ten Network|
|7||The World of The Seekers||1968||Ten Network|
|8||Boxing: Lionel Rose v Alan Rudkin||1964||Seven Network|
|9||The Sound of Music||1977||Nine Network|
|10||Roots (miniseries)||1977||Ten Network|
Note: the funeral of Princess Diana, the Wedding of Prince Charles and the Wedding of Prince William were all carried by all 4 major networks and are counted together.
The following table is a list of the most viewed programmes based on the OzTAM 5 City Metro Average rating system. It does not include regional numbers (40% of the population) and uses the average viewership, not the peak viewership. Also note these ratings are not comparable with ratings before 2001 due to different methodologies used after this time.
|Rank||Show||Number of viewers||Ratings||Year||Network|
|1||2011 British Royal Wedding||6.0 Million||–||2011||ABC, Network 7, Network 9, Network Ten, 7Two|
|2||Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle||4.09 Million||-||2018||Seven Network, Nine Network, ABC, SBS, BBC UKTV, Sky News Live|
|3||2005 Australian Open – Men's Singles Final||4.043 Million||29.3||2005||Seven Network|
|4||MasterChef Australia (season 2) – finale challenge||4.029 Million||27.1||2010||Network Ten|
|5||2003 Rugby World Cup Final||4.016 Million||29.7||2003||Seven Network|
|6||MasterChef Australia (season 1) – finale challenge||3.726 Million||25.6||2009||Network Ten|
|7||2006 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony||3.561 Million||25.5||2006||Nine Network|
|8||2005 AFL Grand Final (Sydney Swans v West Coast Eagles)||3.386 Million||24.5||2005||Network Ten|
|9||The Block (season 4): Winner Announced||3.370 Million||21.9||2011||Nine Network|
|10||Australian Idol: Final Verdict||3.344 Million||24.5||2003||Network Ten|
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (February 2018)
|1||Roque Santeiro||Episode 209||100%||22 February 1986||Rede Globo|
|2||Tieta||Episode 105||—||31 March 1990||Rede Globo|
India measures shows through TRP (Television Rating Point). Shows had higher ratings in 2000s versus now. The only show now that scores above just the 3.3 mark is Kumkum Bhagya, and its spin off Kundali Bhagya along with Naagin (TV series) all shows produced by the same banner Balaji Telefilms- ironically 2.5-3.5 TRP was considered an average in the 2000s era of serials. The most watched channel for years has been Star Plus , then Zee TV with major competition from Colors. Mahabharat (1988–1990), the television adaptation of Indian epic Mahabharata, had a share of 97.8% among Indian viewers.
Aamir Khan's talk show Satyamev Jayate (2012–2014) drew an estimated audience of 600 million viewers in India. The 2016 ICC World Twenty20 cricket cup was watched by an estimated 730 million viewers in India, with India vs. Pakistan being the most widely watched live event during the tournament.
|1||2016 Indian Premier League Final||44.68||Sony Pictures Networks|
|2||Kasautii Zindagii Kay||35.31||Star Plus|
|3||Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi||22.1||Star Plus|
|4||Hum Paanch||13.5||Zee TV|
|5||Koshish Ek Aashaa||11.15||Zee TV|
|7||Des Mein Niklla Hoga Chand||10.0||Star Plus|
|8||Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin||9.2||Sony TV India|
|9||Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai||8.4||Star Plus|
|10||Diya Aur Baati Hum||7.7||Star Plus|
|1||2011 Cricket World Cup||Sri Lanka vs India (final)||340||2 April 2011||Star Sports Network|
|2||2015 Cricket World Cup||Australia vs India (semi-final)||309||26 March 2015||Star Sports|
|3||2015 Cricket World Cup||India vs Pakistan (group stage match)||288||15 February 2015||Star Sports|
|4||2015 Cricket World Cup||West Indies vs India (group stage match)||262||6 March 2015||Star Sports|
|5||2015 Cricket World Cup||India vs South Africa (group stage match)||257||22 February 2015||Star Sports|
|6||2015 Cricket World Cup||India vs Bangladesh (quarter-final)||251||19 March 2015||Star Sports|
|7||2015 Cricket World Cup||Zimbabwe vs India (group stage match)||205||14 March 2015||Star Sports|
|8||2017 ICC Champions Trophy||India vs Pakistan (group stage match)||201||4 June 2017||Star Sports|
|9||2008 Indian Premier League||Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kolkata Knight Riders (group stage match)||195||18 April 2008||Sony Pictures Networks|
|10||2015 Cricket World Cup||Ireland vs India (group stage match)||168||10 March 2015||Star Sports|
The two most watched television broadcasts in Canadian history occurred during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. For the gold medal game of the men's hockey tournament at the 2010 Winter Olympics, played between the United States and Canada, confirmed 16.6 million Canadians watched the whole game, roughly one-half of the country's entire population. A groundbreaking 26.5 million Canadians watched some part of the game, over 80 percent of the country's 34-million-person population. According to multiple sources, 13.3 million Canadians watched the games' opening ceremony, which was the previous record.
Many believed the final game of the 1972 Summit Series had up to 18 million viewers, but this was not so; only 4.3 million people watched it. This statistic does not represent the reality that most school children (representing the tail end of the baby-boom i.e. a large population) nationwide watched the game in gymnasiums on only one or two TVs. 10.3 million people watched the ice hockey gold medal final of the 2002 Winter Olympics.
The CCTV's main evening news broadcast Xinwen Lianbo has a daily audience of around 135 million people, and it is also one of the most expensive shows in the world per advertising spots, with its 2013 advertising slots selling for a record of 5.4 billion yuan.
|Rank||Show||Episode||Number of viewers||Date||Network|
|1||2018 FIFA World Cup||France vs Croatia (final)||26,100,000||15 July 2018||TF1 and BeIN Sports|
|2||1998 FIFA World Cup||Brazil vs France (final)||23,647,000||12 July 1998||TF1 and Canal+|
|3||UEFA Euro 2016||Portugal vs France (final)||22,292,000||10 July 2016||M6 and BeIN Sports|
|4||2006 FIFA World Cup||Portugal vs France (semi-final)||22,200,000||5 July 2006||TF1|
|5||2006 FIFA World Cup||Italy vs France (final)||22,143,000||9 July 2006||TF1|
|6||1998 FIFA World Cup||France vs Croatia (semi-final)||20,597,000||8 July 1998||TF1 and Canal+|
|7||UEFA Euro 2016||Germany vs France (semi-final)||20,339,000||7 July 2016||TF1 and BeIN Sports|
|8||UEFA Euro 2000||France vs Italy (final)||20,279,000||2 July 2000||TF1|
|9||2018 FIFA World Cup||France vs Belgium (semi-final)||20,178,000||10 July 2018||TF1 and BeIN Sports|
|10||2006 FIFA World Cup||Spain vs France (Round of 16)||19,594,000||27 June 2006||TF1|
|11||2006 FIFA World Cup||Togo vs France (group game)||18,331,000||30 June 1996||TF1|
|12||UEFA Euro 2000||France vs Portugal (semi-final)||18,325,000||28 June 2000||France 2|
|13||2007 Rugby World Cup||England vs France (semi-final)||18,300,000||13 October 2007||TF1|
|14||UEFA Euro 2016||France vs Iceland (quarter-final)||18,274,000||3 July 2016||M6 and BeIN Sports|
|15||2014 FIFA World Cup||France vs Germany (quarter-final)||18,085,000||4 July 2014||TF1 and BeIN Sports|
|16||2006 FIFA World Cup||France vs South Korea (group game)||18,051,000||18 June 2006||TF1|
|17||2006 FIFA World Cup||Brazil vs France (quarter-final)||17,939,000||1 July 2006||TF1|
|18||2014 FIFA World Cup||Switzerland vs France (group game)||17,836,000||20 June 2014||TF1 and BeIN Sports|
|19||UEFA Champions League||Red Star Belgrade vs Marseille (final)||17,500,000||29 May 1991||TF1|
|20||Le Grand Bluff||Entertainment Show||17,500,000||26 December 1992||TF1|
|Rank||Show||Episode||Number of viewers||Share||Date||Network|
|1||2014 FIFA World Cup||Germany vs Argentina (final)||34,650,000||86.3%||13 July 2014||Das Erste|
|2||2014 FIFA World Cup||Brazil vs Germany (semi-final)||32,570,000||87.8%||8 July 2014||ZDF|
|3||2010 FIFA World Cup||Germany vs Spain (semi-final)||31,100,000 1, 4||83.2%||7 July 2010||Das Erste|
|4||UEFA Euro 2016||Germany vs France (semi-final)||29,820,000||80.6%||7 July 2016||ZDF|
|5||2006 FIFA World Cup||Germany vs Italy (semi-final)||29,660,000 1, 2, 3||84.1%||4 July 2006||ZDF|
|6||UEFA Euro 2008||Germany vs Turkey (semi-final)||29,460,000||81.6%||25 June 2008||ZDF|
|7||2010 FIFA World Cup||Ghana vs. Germany (group game)||29,190,000 1, 4||79.7%||23 June 2010||Das Erste|
|8||1990 FIFA World Cup||West Germany vs Argentina (final)||28,660,000||87.9%||9 July 1990||Das Erste|
|9||UEFA Euro 1996||Germany vs Czech Republic (final)||28,440,000||76.3%||30 June 1996||ZDF|
|10||UEFA Euro 2016||Germany vs Italy (quarter-final)||28,320,000||79.8%||2 July 2016||Das Erste|
|11||2014 FIFA World Cup||Germany vs Algeria (Round of 16)||28,210,000||85.1%||30 June 2014||ZDF|
|12||UEFA Euro 2016||Germany vs Slovakia (Round of 16)||28,110,000||81.2%||26 June 2014||ZDF|
|13||UEFA Euro 2008||Austria vs Germany (group game)||28,040,000 1, 5||76.9%||16 June 2008||ZDF|
|14||UEFA Euro 2012||Germany vs Italy (semi-final)||27,980,000 6||76.8%||28 June 2012||Das Erste|
|15||The Black Forest Clinic||"Die Schuldfrage" ("The question of guilt")||27,970,000||17 November 1985||ZDF|
|16||2010 FIFA World Cup||Germany vs Australia (group game)||27,910,000 1, 4||74.4%||13 June 2010||Das Erste|
|17||UEFA Euro 2008||Portugal vs Germany (quarter-final)||27,700,000 1, 5||78.7%||19 June 2008||Das Erste|
|18||UEFA Euro 2012||Denmark vs Germany (group game)||27,650,000||74.2%||13 June 2012||ZDF|
|19||UEFA Euro 2016||Germany vs Poland (group game)||27,320,000||73.3%||16 June 2016||ZDF|
|20||2014 FIFA World Cup||USA vs Germany (group game)||27,250,000||84.2%||26 June 2014||ZDF|
Note: The UEFA Euro 2008 final is missing from the list, because the lengthy trophy presentation was included into the official ratings. The game itself was watched by 28.05 million viewers.
A list of most watched shows in the Republic of Ireland in the 21st century was released in January 2015. The Late Late Toy Show held the top six spots, with the 2014 ion drawing 1,593,000 viewers: over one-third of the country's population. Other high-performing shows were Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, crime drama Love/Hate, Mrs. Brown's Boys, The Sunday Game, UEFA Euro 2012 and the Eurovision Song Contest.
The following list is for Japanese anime only.
|1||Chibi Maruko-chan||39.9%||28 October 1990||Fuji TV|
|2||Sazae-san||39.4%||16 September 1979||Fuji TV|
|3||Dr. Slump||36.9%||16 December 1981||Fuji TV|
|4||Dokonjō Gaeru||34.5%||23 February 1979||NTV|
|5||Japanese Folklore Tales 2||33.6%||10 January 1981||TBS|
|6||Lupin the Third||32.5%||8 December 1978||NTV|
|7||Touch||31.9%||22 December 1985||Fuji TV|
|8||Ashita no Joe||31.6%||13 March 1980||NTV|
|9||Doraemon||31.2%||11 February 1983||TV Asahi|
|10||GeGeGe no Kitarō||29.6%||22 March 1986||Fuji TV|
A list of most watched shows in the Mexico, Televisa and TV Azteca broadcasters (Liga MX Apertura and Clausura), Boxing, 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, (FIFA World Cup hosts 1970 & 1986), some concerts like Maná's Unidos por La Paz at Estadio Azteca in March, 2001, Funeral events like Chespirito at December, 2014 the creator of TV Series El Chavo del ocho and El Chapulin Colorado, and Celebration of Mexican political anniversaries in 2010 celebrate independence from Spain also called Bicentenario 2010, had an average audience of over 40 million views in Mexican Television.
In 2011, the television website Throng published a list of the 12 most watched television broadcasts in New Zealand from 1995 to 2011. This is based on average viewership of the program, but it does not include broadcasts from before 1995 or after 2011.
The Rugby World Cup has frequently had large audiences – the Rugby World Cup 2011 final, and a semi-final, both had an average audience of over 2 million.
|01||2011 Rugby World Cup Final (NZ v France)||2,036,900||23 October 2011||TV 1, TV 3, Prime, Sky Sports, Maori TV|
|02||2011 Rugby World Cup Semi-final (NZ v Australia)||2,024,000||16 October 2011||TV 1, TV 3, Prime, Sky Sports, Maori TV|
|03||2011 Rugby World Cup Opening Game (NZ v Tonga)||1,930,000||9 September 2011||TV 1, Prime, Sky Sports, Maori TV|
|04||Boxing: Lennox Lewis vs. David Tua World Title Defence||1,841,230||12 November 2000||TV 3|
|05||One News special – Death of Diana, Princess of Wales||1,703,310||31 August 1997||TV 1|
|06||2000 Summer Olympics opening ceremony||1,654,310||15 September 2000||TV 1|
|07||One News special – Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales||1,649,710||6 September 1997||TV 1|
|08||2011 Rugby World Cup Qtr Final (NZ v Argentina)||1,624,400||9 October 2011||TV 1, TV 3, Prime, Sky Sports, Maori TV|
|09||2003 Rugby World Cup Final (England v Australia)||1,604,800||22 November 2003||TV 1|
|10||Martin Bashir's interview with Diana, Princess of Wales||1,516,780||21 November 1995||TV 2|
|11||2011 Rugby World Cup Opening Ceremony||1,499,160||9 September 2011||TV 1|
|12||2007 Rugby World Cup (NZ v France)||1,410,410||7 October 2007||TV 3|
The following table shows the all-time highest rating television shows in Mega Manila as tallied by AGB Nielsen since 1992. However, ratings are from a single highest recorded episode of the show (in the case of the TV series) and it is not the average over-all ratings for the whole season or series.
|1||ABS-CBN||Manny Pacquiao vs. Erik Morales||2005||83.5%|
|4||ABS-CBN||Pangako Sa 'Yo||2002||64.9%|
|6||ABS-CBN||Miss Universe 1994||1994||62.5%|
|9||RPN||Miss Universe 1999||1999||58.4%|
|11||ABS-CBN||Maalaala Mo Kaya||1992||57.3%|
|16||ABS-CBN||Magandang Gabi, Bayan||2000||55.0%|
|18||ABS-CBN||Manny Pacquiao vs. Oscar Larios||2006||54.4%|
|20||ABS-CBN||Mula Sa Puso||1997||53.7%|
|Rank||Program||Date||Channel||Number of vievers||Share|
|1||Funeral of Pope John Paul II||8 April 2005||TVP1, TVP2, TVP3, Polsat, TVN, TVN24 and others||Over 21,400,000||Almost 90%|
|2||UEFA Euro 2016: Poland vs Portugal (quarter-final)||30 June 2016||TVP1, Polsat, Polsat Sport||15,974,822||86.57%|
|3||UEFA Euro 2012: Poland vs Russia (group stage)||12 June 2012||TVP1, TVP Sport, TVP HD||14,683,216||81.51%|
|4||UEFA Euro 2016: Germany vs Poland (group stage)||16 June 2016||TVP1, Polsat, Polsat Sport||14,352,012||80.89%|
|5||UEFA Euro 2012: Czech Republic vs Poland (group stage)||16 June 2012||TVP1, TVP Sport, TVP HD||14,070,492||81.28%|
|6||FIFA World Cup 2018: Poland vs Colombia (group stage)||24 June 2018||TVP1, TVP Sport||13,631,335||75.45%|
|7||UEFA Euro 2012: Poland vs Greece (group stage)||8 June 2012||TVP1, TVP Sport, TVP HD||13,308,343||83.78%|
|8||2002 Winter Olympics: Ski Jumping Men's K120 Individual
(Adam Małysz's silver medal)
|13 February 2002||TVP1||13,259,612||75.15%|
|9||Funeral of President Lech Kaczyński and First Lady Maria Kaczyńska||18 April 2010||TVP1, TVP2, TVP Info, Polsat, Polsat News, TVN, TVN 24 and others||13,033,967||86.68%|
|10||UEFA Euro 2016: Ukraine vs Poland (group stage)||21 June 2016||TVP1, Polsat, Polsat Sport||12,639,308||81.67%|
|1||UEFA Euro 2004||Portugal vs The Netherlands (semi-final)||40.1||85.4%||30 June 2004||RTP1|
|2||UEFA Euro 2012||Portugal vs Spain (semi-final)||39.5||76.0%||27 June 2012||SIC|
|3||UEFA Euro 2004||Portugal vs England (quarter-final)||39.0||85.1%||24 June 2004||RTP1|
|4||UEFA Euro 2016||Portugal vs Wales (semi-final)||38.4||75.4%||6 July 2016||RTP1|
|5||UEFA Euro 2016||Portugal vs France (final)||38.2||78.1%||10 July 2016||RTP1|
|6||UEFA Euro 2012||Portugal vs The Netherlands (group stage match)||38.1||73.4%||17 June 2012||TVI|
|7||2014 FIFA World Cup||United States vs Portugal (group stage match)||37.8||75.4%||22 June 2014||RTP1|
|8||UEFA Euro 2004||Portugal vs Greece (final)||37.7||89.7%||4 July 2004||RTP1|
|9||UEFA Euro 2016||Poland vs Portugal (quarter-final)||37.4||69.9%||30 June 2016||RTP1|
|10||2006 FIFA World Cup||Portugal vs France (semi-final)||37.2||82.3%||5 July 2006||SIC|
|11||A Próxima Vítima||The Last Episode||37.1||80.2%||19 January 1996||SIC|
|12||UEFA Euro 2012||Czech Republic vs Portugal (quarter-final)||36.1||71.7%||21 June 2012||RTP1|
|13||UEFA Euro 2004||Russia vs Portugal (group stage match)||35.5||81.4%||16 June 2004||SIC|
|14||UEFA Euro 2016||Portugal vs Iceland (group stage match)||35.1||68.6%||14 June 2016||RTP1|
|15||UEFA Euro 2004||Spain vs Portugal (group stage match)||34.9||83.2%||20 June 2004||TVI|
|16||2006 FIFA World Cup||Portugal vs The Netherlands (round of 16)||34.9||80.7%||25 June 2006||SIC|
|17||UEFA Euro 2008||Portugal vs Germany (quarter-finals)||34.5||75.6%||19 June 2008||TVI|
|18||2015 Portuguese legislative election||Debate: António Costa vs. Pedro Passos Coelho||34.1||66%||10 September 2015||RTP1, SIC, TVI|
|19||2014 FIFA World Cup qualification||Sweden vs Portugal (second leg playoff match)||34.1||62.2%||19 November 2013||RTP1|
|20||UEFA Europa League||SL Benfica vs Chelsea FC (final)||33.8||62.3%||16 May 2013||SIC|
|21||UEFA Euro 2000||France vs. Portugal (Semi-finals)||33.2||76.7%||28 June 2000||RTP1|
|22||2006 FIFA World Cup||Angola vs Portugal (group stage match)||32.8||80.9%||11 June 2006||SIC|
|23||2018 FIFA World Cup||Iran vs Portugal (group stage match)||32.4||71.6%||25 June 2018||RTP1|
|24||UEFA Euro 2012||Germany vs Portugal (group stage match)||32.4||68.3%||9 June 2012||RTP1|
|25||O Rei do Gado||Brazilian telenovela||32.2||January 1997||SIC|
|26||UEFA Champions League||Monaco vs Porto (final)||31.7||70.5%||26 May 2004||RTP1|
|27||UEFA Euro 2016||Croatia vs Portugal (Round of 16)||31.3||70%||26 June 2016||RTP1|
|28||UEFA Europa League||Sevilla FC vs SL Benfica (final)||31.1||61.4%||14 May 2014||SIC|
|29||UEFA Champions League||Real Madrid vs Atlético Madrid (final)||30.8||64.3%||24 May 2014||TVI|
|30||Terra Nostra||Brazilian telenovela||30.8||64%||11 January 2000||SIC|
|31||2006 FIFA World Cup||Portugal vs Iran||30.4||83.1%||17 June 2006||SIC|
|32||UEFA Europa League||Juventus FC vs SL Benfica (semi-final)||30.4||58.9%||1 May 2014||SIC|
|33||Big Brother Portugal||Live eviction show||30.2||72.5%||26 December 2000||TVI|
|34||2018 FIFA World Cup||Uruguay vs Portugal (round of 16)||30.1||70.1%||30 June 2018||RTP1|
|35||2018 FIFA World Cup||Portugal vs Spain (group stage match)||30.1||69.1%||15 June 2018||RTP1|
|36||UEFA Cup||Sporting CP vs CSKA Moscow (Final)||30.1||68.4%||18 May 2005||RTP1|
|37||Taça de Portugal||SL Benfica vs Sporting CP (Sixth round)||29.9||62.6%||26 January 2005||RTP1|
|38||Torre de Babel||Brazilian telenovela||29.8||77.1%||2 April 1999||SIC|
|39||UEFA Euro 2008||Switzerland vs Portugal||29.8||71.8%||15 June 2008||TVI|
|40||UEFA Cup||Celtic FC vs FC Porto||29.7||67.5%||21 May 2003||SIC|
|41||2006 FIFA World Cup||Germany vs Portugal (third place play-off)||29.6||78.4%||8 July 2006||SIC|
|42||UEFA Champions League||Barcelona vs Benfica (quarter-finals)||29.3||65.4%||5 April 2006||RTP1|
|43||2006 FIFA World Cup||England vs Portugal (quarter-finals)||29.2||88.1%||1 July 2006||SIC|
|44||2010 FIFA World Cup||Spain vs Portugal (Round of 16)||29.1||75.9%||29 June 2010||RTP1|
|45||Juntos Por Todos||Benefit concert||28.8||67.8%||27 June 2017||RTP1, SIC, TVI|
|46||Médico de Família||Portuguese TV series||27.9||61.4%||16 March 1999||SIC|
Viewership ratings are provided by two companies in South Korea, AGB Nielsen Media Research and TNmS. Originally Media Service Korea was the only company providing such information, and it was later acquired by Nielsen Media Research. In 1999 TNS Media Korea also began such service, and later changed its name to TNmS. AGB collects viewership data based on 2050 households, while TNmS has 2000 households with measuring devices. Drama ratings usually vary between the two companies by 2–3%.
|1.||First Love||KBS2||65.8%||20 April 1997|
|2.||What is Love||MBC||64.9%||24 May 1992|
|3.||Sandglass||SBS||64.5%||6 February 1995|
|4.||Hur Jun||MBC||63.7%||27 June 2000|
|5.||Sunny Place of Youth||KBS2||62.7%||12 November 1995|
|6.||You and I||MBC||62.4%||12 April 1998|
|7.||The Son and the Daughter||MBC||61.1%||21 March 1993|
|8.||Taejo Wang Geon||KBS1||60.2%||20 May 2001|
|9.||Eyes of Dawn||MBC||58.4%||6 February 1992|
|10.||Dae Jang Geum||MBC||57.8%||23 March 2004|
|11.||Lovers in Paris||SBS||57.6%||15 August 2004|
|12.||See and See Again||MBC||57.3%||12 October 1998|
|13.||Truth||MBC||56.5%||24 February 2000|
|14.||Jealousy||MBC||56.1%||21 July 1992|
|15.||Even When the Wind Blows||KBS1||55.8%||26 February 1996|
|16.||Bathhouse Men||KBS2||53.4%||25 August 1996|
|17.||Gook Hee (tie)||MBC||53.1%||16 November 1999|
|17.||Trap of Youth (tie)||SBS||53.1%||15 April 1999|
|19.||Tomato||SBS||52.7%||3 June 1999|
|20.||M||MBC||52.2%||30 August 1994|
Statistics from Mediamätning Skandinavien.
|Year||Programme||Date||Number of viewers (millions)||Network|
|2000||Melodifestivalen 2000||10 March||4.175||SVT2|
|2001||Melodifestivalen 2001||23 February||3.84||SVT1|
|2002||Melodifestivalen 2002||1 March||3.72||SVT1|
|2003||Melodifestivalen 2003||15 March||3.815||SVT1|
|2004||Melodifestivalen 2004||20 March||4.105||SVT1|
|2005||Melodifestivalen 2005||12 March||4.055||SVT1|
|2006||Melodifestivalen 2006||18 March||4.240||SVT1|
|2007||Melodifestivalen 2007||10 March||3.975||SVT1|
|2008||Melodifestivalen 2008||15 March||4.045||SVT1|
|2009||Melodifestivalen 2009||14 March||3.59||SVT1|
|2010||Melodifestivalen 2010||13 March||3.87||SVT1|
|2011||Melodifestivalen 2011||12 March||3.67||SVT1|
|2012||Melodifestivalen 2012||10 March||4.11||SVT1|
|2013||Melodifestivalen 2013||9 March||4.15||SVT1|
|2014||Kalle Anka och hans vänner önskar god jul||24 December||3.705||SVT1|
|2015||Melodifestivalen 2015||14 March||3.771||SVT1|
|Year||Programme||Date||Number of viewers (millions)||Network|
|2000||UEFA Euro 2000 Final (FRA–ITA)||2 July||2.34||SVT2|
|2001||2001 World Men's Handball Championship Final (FRA–SWE)||4 February||2.635||TV4|
|2002||2002 European Men's Handball Championship Final (SWE–GER)||3 February||3.06||TV4|
|2003||2003 FIFA Women's World Cup Final (GER–SWE)||12 October||3.525||TV4|
|2004||UEFA Euro 2004 (SWE–DEN)||22 June||3.796||TV4|
|2005||2005 World Championships in Athletics||7 August||4.055||TV4|
|2006||2006 Men's Olympic Ice Hockey Final (SWE–FIN)||26 February||3.52||SVT2|
|2007||FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2007 – Women's slalom||16 February||2.23||SVT1|
|2008||UEFA Euro 2008 (GRE–SWE)||10 June||3.03||TV4|
|2009||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification – UEFA Group 1 (DEN–SWE)||10 October||1.805||Kanal 5|
|2010||2010 FIFA World Cup Final (NED–ESP)||11 July||2.66||SVT1|
|2011||2011 IIHF World Championship Final (SWE–FIN)||15 May||2.035||TV3|
|2012||UEFA Euro 2012 (UKR–SWE)||11 June||2.94||SVT1|
|2013||2013 IIHF World Championship Final (SWE–SUI)||19 May||2.915||TV4|
|2014||2014 FIFA World Cup (GER–ARG)||13 July||2.810||TV4|
|2015||FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2015||1 May||2.272||SVT1|
The majority of special events attracting large audiences are often carried on more than one channel. The most watched programme of all time on a single channel is the 1973 wedding ceremony of The Princess Anne, shown only on BBC1. The figures in these tables represent the average viewership achieved by each broadcast during its run-time and do not include peak viewership.
|1||1966 FIFA World Cup Final: England v West Germany||32.30||30 July 1966||BBC One/ITV|
|2||Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales||32.10||6 September 1997||BBC One/ITV|
|3||Royal Family (documentary)||30.69||21 June 1969 and 28 June 1969||BBC One/ITV|
|4||Apollo 13 splashdown||28.60||17 April 1970||BBC One/ITV|
|5||1970 FA Cup Final replay||28.49||29 April 1970||BBC One/ITV|
|6||Wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer||28.40||29 July 1981||BBC One/ITV|
|7||Wedding of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips||27.60||14 November 1973||BBC One|
|8||2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony||24.46||12 August 2012||BBC One|
|9||2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony||24.24||27 July 2012||BBC One|
|10||Torvill and Dean – Olympic Ice Dance Championship||23.95||21 February 1994||BBC One|
The following is a list of most watched programmes, excluding sporting events and news coverage. The mid-1980s introduction of in-week repeat showings accounts for six of the top ten programmes. On this measure, the 1996 Christmas ion of Only Fools and Horses is the most watched non-repeated, non-documentary programme of all time in the UK. It is the third most watched programme of all time on a single channel, after the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony and the wedding of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips in 1973 (see below).
|Rank||Show||Episode||Number of viewers
|1||EastEnders||Den serves Angie with divorce papers.||30.15||25 December 1986*||BBC One|
|2||EastEnders||Michelle Fowler reveals she is pregnant.||28.00||1 January 1986*||BBC One|
|3||Coronation Street||Hilda Ogden leaves||26.65||25 December 1987*||ITV (Granada)|
|4||Only Fools and Horses||"Time on Our Hands"||24.35||29 December 1996||BBC One|
|5||EastEnders||N/A||24.30||2 January 1992*||BBC One|
|6||Royal Variety Performance 1965||Ft. Dame Shirley Bassey, Peter Cook & Dudley Moore CBE and more.||24.20||14 November 1965||ITV (ATV)|
|7||EastEnders||N/A||24.15||7 January 1988*||BBC One|
|8||To the Manor Born||"A Touch of Class" - Series 1 Finale||23.95||11 November 1979||BBC One|
|9||Miss World 1967||Peru wins.||23.76||19 November 1967||BBC One|
|10||EastEnders||N/A||23.55||26 December 1985*||BBC One|
|11||Panorama||Diana, Princess of Wales||22.78||20 November 1995||BBC One|
|12||Royal Variety Performance 1975||Bruce Forsyth, Dad's Army & Vera Lynn||22.66||16 November 1975||ITV (ATV)|
|13||This Is Your Life||Lord Mountbatten||22.22||27 April 1977||ITV (Thames)|
|14||Sunday Night at the London Palladium||N/A||21.89||3 December 1967||ITV (ATV)|
|15||The Benny Hill Show||N/A||21.67||24 March 1971||ITV (Thames)|
|16||Dallas||"Who Done It" – J.R. Ewing's shooter is revealed||21.60||22 November 1980||BBC One|
|Coronation Street||Ken and Deirdre divorce||21.60||8 January 1992||ITV (Granada)|
|18||Eurovision Song Contest 1973||Anne-Marie David wins for Luxembourg.||21.56||7 April 1973||BBC One|
|19||Steptoe and Son||"The Lodger" – Albert looks for a Lodger||21.54||18 February 1964||BBC TV|
|20||The Mike Yarwood Show||Mike Yarwood Christmas Show||21.40||25 December 1977||BBC One|
|Coronation Street||Bet Lynch becomes landlady of the Rovers Return Inn.||21.40||2 January 1985||ITV (Granada)|
*Denotes aggregated figure with repeat showing.
NBC's live telecast of Super Bowl XLIX in 2015 currently holds the record for the largest average viewership of any U.S. television broadcast, with 114.4 million viewers. During this broadcast, the halftime show featuring Katy Perry was watched by 118.5 million viewers. The previous live telecast Super Bowl XLV in February 2011 helped Fox become the first ever television network in the United States to be watched by at least 100 million American viewers by average for a single primetime night of programming. Moreover, Super Bowl telecasts account for 23 of the most watched television broadcasts based on overall viewership in U.S. television history. Fox's live telecast of Super Bowl LI in 2017 currently holds the largest total viewership in U.S. television history, peaking at 172 million viewers in Super Bowl's first ever overtime play.
Additionally, the National Football League (or NFL) regular season is watched since 2012 by at least 200 million individuals in the United States, accounting for the largest consistent annual nationwide viewership for any television event in U.S. television history (representing almost 70% of the American households, more than 80% of the total U.S. television viewers, and more than 60% of the 2018 U.S. population of 325 million individuals).
|1||Super Bowl XLIX||114.4||February 1, 2015||NBC|
|2||Super Bowl XLVIII||112.2||February 2, 2014||Fox|
|3||Super Bowl 50||111.9||February 7, 2016||CBS|
|4||Super Bowl LI||111.3||February 5, 2017||Fox|
|5||Super Bowl XLVI||111.3||February 5, 2012||NBC|
|6||Super Bowl XLV||111.0||February 6, 2011||Fox|
|7||Super Bowl XLVII||108.7||February 3, 2013||CBS|
|8||Super Bowl XLIV||106.5||February 7, 2010||CBS|
|9||M*A*S*H (Finale)||105.9||February 28, 1983||CBS|
|10||Super Bowl LII||103.4||February 4, 2018||NBC|
|11||Roots (Part VIII)||100.0||January 30, 1977||ABC|
|12||Super Bowl XLIII||98.7||February 1, 2009||NBC|
|13||Super Bowl XLII||97.4||February 3, 2008||Fox|
|14||Super Bowl XXX||94.1||January 28, 1996||NBC|
|15||Super Bowl XLI||93.2||February 4, 2007||CBS|
|16||Super Bowl XX||92.6||January 26, 1986||NBC|
|17||Super Bowl XXVII||91.0||January 31, 1993||NBC|
|18||Super Bowl XL||90.7||February 5, 2006||ABC|
|19||Muhammad Ali vs. Leon Spinks II||90.0||September 15, 1978||ABC|
|20||Super Bowl XXVIII||90.0||January 30, 1994||NBC|
|Super Bowl XXXII||90.0||January 25, 1998||NBC|
Dubbed "the thrilla of Manila, the saga of our lifetime," the last-named fight took place on the fourth anniversary of King's release from prison, September 30, 1975, and was viewed over television by nearly one billion people.
The biggest of all was Holmes-Ali. The dollar figures and publicity, not to mention the impact on Las Vegas and Caesars Palace itself, stagger the imagination. The event drew a net live gate of $5,766,125 (the largest in the history of boxing), with 25,000 people (the most ever in Nevada) paying $50 to $500 a ticket. Tax revenue to the state was $280,645. Caesar's telephone operators handled 48,000 calls that day, double any other day in hotel history. The estimated world-wide TV audience was a record two billion people, and for the first time in history, a boxing event was televised in Red China.
It's also probably the biggest show on the planet, attracting 700 million viewers, six times the Super Bowl's audience.
The gala has made some world records: It has the world's highest audience numbers of its kind, reaching more than one billion (1,000,000,000.) viewers.
With an estimated daily audience of around 135 million– 14 times the audience of the highest-rated US news show – CCTV's Xinwen Lianbo is one of the world's most watched programs. Such is its power that last month the 2013 advertising slots were sold for a record RMB5.4 billion, with Wuliangye, Maotai and Gome spending over RMB1 billion between them on the five-second countdown before the show begins.
The annual Miss World Contest, which is often the single most popular program of the year — attracting half the British population — is a natural for BBC 1; so was the Ali-Frazier fight, which was watched by 27.5 million people.
'Ali is so tired he cannot raise his hands. ' The next moment Ali raised his fists and Foreman was knocked out. The 26 million who saw the same fight with the same commentary on BBC-1...did not hear that line. "Yes, we cut it out, ' said a BBC man last night, 'to spare Harry Carpenter's blushes.'