The Queen’s funeral service at Westminster Abbey drew an average TV audience of over 26million across a range of UK networks.
Her Majesty’s Monday dispatch followed her 70-year record as Commonwealth Head of State and was simulcast on a range of networks including BBC One, BBC Two and BBC News; ITV with ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4; and Sky News and Sky Sports.
Overnight figures released by research organization Barb suggest that 26.2 million people watched her memorial service at Westminster Abbey in Britain. But that doesn’t take into account streaming and the millions of people who watched from pubs and screens set up in public spaces across the country, so the final number could be higher.
It is also believed that 4.1 billion people worldwide watched footage from the Queen’s funeral, more than Live Aid 1985 and Charles and Diana’s wedding in 1981.
Of the more than 50 channels that broadcast the service, 20million people tuned in to BBC One when the ratings peaked at 12.25pm as his coffin emerged from Westminster Abbey.
Prior to the momentous occasion, industry experts had predicted that a staggering 4.1 billion viewers were expected to tune in to the show.
It would break the previous record of 3.5 billion people watching boxing great Muhammad Ali open the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996.
If their predictions are correct, the Queen’s state funeral would eclipse all other broadcast records – including Live8 concerts in 2005, New Year’s Eve fireworks celebrations in Sydney in 2010 and the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.
Carolina Beltramo, TV analyst at WatchTVAbroad.com, said: “Such is the love and admiration for Queen Elizabeth II around the world that her funeral is destined to be the greatest live television event in history. .”
“Generations of people around the world will not have been alive the last time pomp and pageantry was seen on this scale.
“Although it’s a sad occasion, they can be forgiven for being captivated by a spectacle that resonates through history.” For this reason alone, they will be attracted by the billions to witness the dawn of this new era.
“As many as 4.1 billion people are expected to tune in Monday to witness this historic moment as half of planet Earth’s inhabitants pause to pay their respects.
“Thanks to advances in technology, which mean most of us now carry televisions in our pockets, viewing figures will eclipse the opening ceremony of the Atlanta Olympics, when 3.6 billion people watched Muhammad Ali light the Olympic torch in 1996.
“In contrast, around 2.5 billion people watched Diana, Princess of Wales’ service 25 years ago, with 31 million Britons tuning in.”