09/07/2012 08:59 BST

Andy Murray's Wimbledon Final Brings In 17m Viewers – But What's The Biggest TV Audience?

A TV audience of almost 17m shared Andy Murray's tears after he lost his dramatic Wimbledon match yesterday - the highest figure for any final at the tournament for more than 20 years, the BBC said on Monday.

That’s clearly a hugely impressive figure, but isn’t quite as high as the 18.6m that tuned in to ITV’s coverage of England vs Ukraine at Euro 2012.

However, the audiences for other TV events completely dwarf both of these.


TV hit: Almost 17m watched Andy Murray in the final

For instance, a staggering 750m people in 74 countries tuned in to see Prince Charles marry Diana on 29 July 1981.

The 2008 Beijing Olympics was fairly popular, too. Between 8 and 24 August 4.7bn people feasted their eyes on the sporting spectacle.

That’s around 70% of the world’s population.


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The 2011 Cricket World Cup Final proved a ratings hit, too, with 135m fans in India watching the match.

A similar number were bowled over by the final episode of comedy show M*A*S*H. A whopping 125m watched its final hurrah on 28 February 1983.

The biggest audiences for individual British television show episodes, meanwhile, are 30m for Den divorcing Angie on EastEnders in 1986, 26m for Hilda Ogden leaving Coronation Street in 1987 and 24m for The Only Fools And Horses episode Time On Our Hands.

See the gallery below for pictures of the world’s biggest TV events.

Biggest TV Audiences Ever