List of most-watched television broadcasts

List of most watched television broadcastsmost watchedmost watched television event evermost-watchedhighest viewing figures everList of most-watched television episodesmost-watched and highest-rated single television episodemost-watched live television broadcastmost-watched programmesone of the most watched broadcasts
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.wikipedia
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Muhammad Ali

Cassius ClayMuhammed AliAli
The boxer Muhammad Ali drew record global television audiences during the 1970s to early 1980s.
He was involved in several historic boxing matches and feuds, most notably his fights with Joe Frazier, such as the Thrilla in Manila, and his fight with George Foreman known as The Rumble in the Jungle which has been called "arguably the greatest sporting event of the 20th century" and was watched by a record estimated television audience of 1 billion viewers worldwide, becoming the world's most-watched live television broadcast at the time.

Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales

funeralDiana's funeralfuneral of Princess Diana
The funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997 was watched by an estimated 2billion people globally, making it the all-time most-watched royal event on live television in the world.
Two thousand people attended the ceremony in Westminster Abbey while the British television audience peaked at 32.10 million, one of the United Kingdom's highest viewing figures ever.

Dallas (1978 TV series)

DallasKatherine Wentworthoriginal series of the same name
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.
The 1980 episode "Who Done It" remains the second highest rated prime-time telecast ever.

Thrilla in Manila

ManilaThriller in ManillaAli-Frazier
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 1billion and 2billion people.
The fight was watched by a record global television audience of 1billion viewers, including 100million viewers watching the fight on closed-circuit theatre television, and 500,000 pay-per-view buys on HBO home cable television.

Television in the United States

American televisionAmericanUnited States
U.S. television programming remains one of the most popular forms of entertainment worldwide.
Throughout the 1990s, NBC called its own Thursday night lineup "Must See TV", and during that decade, some of the country's most watched television shows aired on Thursday nights (several of which aired on NBC), before the re-emergence of Sunday as the top night of prime time programming in the 2000s.

Super Bowl

Super Bowl championSuper BowlsAFL-NFL World Championship Game
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.
In addition, the Super Bowl has frequently been the most-watched American television broadcast of the year; the seven most-watched broadcasts in U.S. television history are Super Bowls.

The Rumble in the Jungle

Rumble in the Jungleheavyweight title fighteighth round
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 1billion and 2billion people.
The fight was watched by a record estimated television audience of 1billion viewers worldwide, becoming the world's most-watched live television broadcast at the time.

M*A*S*H (TV series)

M*A*S*HMASHM*A*S*H*
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.
The series premiered in the US on September 17, 1972, and ended on February 28, 1983, with the finale, showcased as a television film, titled "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen", becoming the most-watched and highest-rated single television episode in US television history at the time, with a record-breaking 125 million viewers (60.2 rating and 77 share), according to the New York Times. It had struggled in its first season and was at risk of being cancelled.

Sitcom

situation comedysitcomssituation comedies
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.
And the finale, "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen", became the most-watched and highest-rated single television episode in the U.S. television history at the time, with a record-breaking of 125 million viewers (60.2 rating and 77 share), according to The New York Times.

Roque Santeiro

Brazilian telenovela of same name
It was distributed to many countries around the world, and had an audience of 60 million viewers, remaining until today as the most-watched show in the history of Brazilian television.

Thalía

ThaliaThalia SodiEstoy Enamorada
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.

Torvill and Dean

Torvill & DeanJayne Torvill and Christopher DeanTorville and Dean
One of the most-watched television events ever in the United Kingdom, their 1984 Olympics performance was watched by a British television audience of more than 24 million people.

Only Fools and Horses

Only Fools & HorsesDel BoyLovely jubbly
The show achieved consistently high ratings, and the 1996 episode "Time on Our Hands" (originally billed as the last ever episode) holds the record for the highest UK audience for a sitcom episode, attracting over 24.3 million viewers.

Brazil v Germany (2014 FIFA World Cup)

7–11–7Mineirazo
In Germany, the match's coverage by ZDF set a record for the country's most watched TV broadcast ever, with 32.57 million viewers (87.8% of all viewers), beating the Germany–Spain match at the 2010 World Cup.

1966 FIFA World Cup Final

1966 World Cup Finalfinal1966
In addition to an attendance of 96,924 at the stadium, the British television audience peaked at 32.3 million viewers, making it the United Kingdom's most-watched television event ever.

Time on Our Hands

closing scenes of the Trilogy
It attracted a television audience of 24.3 million, a record for a British sitcom.

The Benny Hill Show

Benny HillBenny Hill ShowHill's Angel
At its peak The Benny Hill Show was among the most-watched programmes in the UK with the audience reaching more than 21 million viewers in 1971.

To the Manor Born

Audrey fforbes-HamiltonTo the Manor Born'' 2007 Christmas Special
The programme proved popular and it received high audience figures for many of its episodes, especially the series 1 final episode, the most watched British television programme (excluding live events) of the 1970s.

Eurovision Song Contest 1973

19731973 Eurovision Song Contest1973 Contest
This contest holds the record for the most watched Eurovision Song Contest in the United Kingdom, and is also the 18th most watched television show in the same country, with an estimated 21.54 million tuning in on the night.

Manny Pacquiao vs. Óscar Larios

Manny Pacquiao vs. Oscar LariosJul 2, 2006Larios moved up to Super Featherweight
The bout is currently the 17th most watched television broadcasts in the Philippines with a rating of 54.4% based on the data of AGB Nielsen Philippines.

Super Bowl XLIV

XLIVSuper Bowl2010 Super Bowl
With an average U.S. audience of 106.5 million viewers, this was the third most-watched Super Bowl, trailing only the 111 million viewers for Super Bowl XLV the following year and 111.3 million viewers for Super Bowl XLVI.

1970 FA Cup Final

1970FA Cup final1970 FA Cup Final replay
The replay at Old Trafford, watched by a television audience of 28 million, a record for an FA Cup final, became one of the most notorious clashes in English football for the harshness of play, which exceeded the previous game at Wembley.

Super Bowl XLV

XLVSuper Bowl2011 Super Bowl
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.
With an average US audience of 111 million viewers, this was the most-watched Super Bowl as well as the most-watched program of any kind in American television history, beating the previous record of 106.5 million viewers for Super Bowl XLIV.

Diana, Princess of Wales

Princess DianaLady Diana SpencerPrincess of Wales
The televised funeral, on 6 September, was watched by a British television audience that peaked at 32.10million, which was one of the United Kingdom's highest viewing figures ever.

Fox Broadcasting Company

FoxFox networkFox.com
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.
American Idol lost its first place standing among all network prime time programs during the 2011–12 finale (falling to second that season behind NBC Sunday Night Football), ending the longest streak at #1 for a prime time broadcast network series in U.S. television history, through its eight-year ratings domination in both the Adults 18–49 demographic and total viewership.