Queen Elizabeth funeral attracts 28 million viewers

A peak of 28 million Brits watched the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, the BBC has said.

The event was broadcast across BBC One, BBC Two, ITV, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4 and Channel 4, along with the broadcasters’ respective streaming platforms. Paramount-owned Channel 5 bucked the trend by broadcasting a day of family-friendly movies including Ice Age and The Emoji Movie.

The BBC said that a total of 32.5 million viewers watched at least three consecutive minutes of its coverage, with its overall audience peaking at 22.4 million at the time when the queen’s coffin was taken in a procession from Westminster Abbey through central London. 

The BBC said that it recorded its largest audience since the closing ceremonies of the London Olympics in 2012.

The Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB) said that the funeral reached a peak of 26.2 million people across linear channels in the UK. As such its audience was significantly lower than the 32.1 million who watched the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997 (32.1 million), though this was of course in a day before streaming. A better comparison is with England’s UEFA Euro 2020 Final loss to Italy in summer 2021, which recorded 29.85 million linear viewers

International viewing figures have not yet been released, but Statista predicted that 4.1 billion would tune in from around the globe to make it by far the most-watched live event ever.

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