The most watched live TV events in history


The most watched live TV events of all time constitute the precious few moments in which humanity has come closer together than ever before. That's the power of television, and that's the amazing thing about these live TV moments. They're like nothing else.

India-Pakistan World Cup match

It's rare for a sporting event to reach the same number of live TV viewers as major news events and other televised cultural landmarks, but it happened in 2015 during a World Cup cricket match between India and Pakistan. India was defending its title as world champions since winning in 2011.

The match that took place in Adelaide, Australia. In the end, over 1 billion people watched the game, with most of the viewers living in – as you'd expect – India or Pakistan.

China's takes on New Year

Coming up a close second to Sydney's New Year's Eve celebrations is the Chinese New Year’s Gala. The viewership figures for the gala are astronomical and regularly reach the high hundreds of millions. In 2018, the estimated number of viewers (mostly within China, where watching it is something of a tradition) hit 800 million.

An olympic Olympics

Being one of the oldest sporting events in human history, the Olympics tend to be fairly popular when they roll around – arguably none more so than the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Now, even the less impressive Olympic Games tend to nail the legendary opening ceremony, so it stands to reason that Beijing surpassed everyone else on that front, too.

At nearly five hours, the event was a tour de force of Chinese culture and art, in which 10,000 performers were featured, constituting the climax to a seven-year period of preparation for the games. In total, around 1 billion people (that's some 15 percent of the world's population) watched the opening ceremony.