5 Times More Than 1BN People Watched the Same Event

For most of us, even understanding what one billion really means is quite mind-boggling. Once you start getting to numbers that big it becomes hard to comprehend what the number really means and how that relates to real life. As such, the thought of 1 billion people all sitting at home at the same time to watch the same event seems like somewhat of an impossible scenario, but it happens! Betway recently looked into 10 of the biggest events in history and there are plenty of times when large portions of the global population tuned in to see the same event take place – here are just some of those times.

Barak Obama’s Inauguration


There have even been times when people have known that a moment in history is being made and without a doubt, Barack Obama’s inauguration is one of them. It is definitely a moment when people knew that a change was coming – which is why it is perhaps unsurprising that 14% of the world population tuned in to see it happen. However, it wasn’t just the USA that celebrated – this was definitely an international event. Kenya declared a public holiday, the school that Obama attended when he was young in Indonesia held a midnight party and in Japan, the city of Obama arranged a party including fireworks! 1 Billion people tuned in to watch him be sworn in as the first-ever black president of America and with 35.5 million followers it seems that people continue to watch to hear what he has to say.

The Wall: Live in Berlin


Live music events are always going to be popular and The Wall in 1990 is no exception. The live concert took place on the ex-site of The Berlin Wall, which in itself was always going to grab the headlines. Not only did 350,000 people attend the concert live, but it was broadcast across 52 countries, with 18% of the world’s population choosing to watch from home too! There were several highlights of the day that no doubt helped to draw in audience numbers – the fact that people such as Roger Water, Joni Mitchell, Bryan Adams and Cyndi Lauper were performing live certainly helped. On top of that, the stage design featured a long wall which was knocked down at the end of the show – no wonder 1 billion people watched it happen live on TV!

When Prince Harry and Meghan Got Married


The royal family have long captured the attention of adoring audiences across the world and never more so than when they get married. In fact, even as far back as 1981, 750 million people tuned in to watch Prince Charles and Lady Diana get married. More recently in 2018, 25% of the world population tuned in to watch Prince Harry marry Meghan Markle. The wedding itself took place in Windsor Castle and compared to Prince Charles and Diana, was a much smaller event but that didn’t stop 1.9 billion people from tuning in to watch. It is thought that around 29.2 million of those came from the USA where people would have needed to get up super early to watch. That might seem impressive, but when you consider that the number is nearly 3 million more than those that tuned in to watch The Oscars, it puts into context just how popular the wedding ceremony was.

Live 8


If you thought that The Wall: Live in Berlin was impressive, you’ll be blown away by the 10 concerts that took place for Live 8. The concerts took place across 10 cities in different countries and as such, demanded the biggest TV audience ever. 31% of the popular tuned in to watch over 1,000 musicians put on show-stopping performances. Well-known musical artists such as Madonna and U2 came together to encourage world leaders to take global poverty more seriously. As you might imagine, this was a concert that people really wanted to see – and as such, it was broadcast on over 180 television networks. With it being shown across so many parts of the world it really is no surprise that 2 billion tuned in to watch live performances by the likes of Maroon 5, Destiny Child and even a cheeky DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince reunion.

Live Aid


It was Live Aid that really kicked off the idea of big concerts helping to raise awareness and much-needed funds for those in need. The concert was arranged by Midge Ure and Bob Geldof and took place in both London and Philadelphia. An impressive line-up meant that 39% of the population were glued to their TV sets in order to watch performances from people such as David Bowie, The Who and of course Queen. Phil Collins even managed to fly between the UK and the US in order to perform live at both concerts, pretty incredible. What is extremely impressive is that even though the gig took place in 1985 they were able to broadcast it to over 150 countries. This meant that 1.9 billion people were able to watch from home – at the time this is thought to equate to 2 out of every 5 people watching the live concert. The concert itself was incredible, with many people still deeming the 21-minute set by Queen and Freddy Mercury the best live performance they ever gave – and that is one that will stay in the record books forever.

These days technology makes it much easier for people to stream live events and for people around the world to tune in. However, some of these events took place before technology was so advanced, so the fact that so much of the population tuned in to watch is an incredible feat. The aim will always be to bring in the biggest TV audiences possible, so let’s see who comes up with the next big event to capture people’s attention & what that event will be; they’ll need to pull something incredible out of the bag.

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