Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral drew a peak of 27 million viewers in the U.K., equating to a 95% audience share.
The vast majority of those watching in the U.K. on Monday – some 18 million – were tuned into the BBC, who began their coverage from 8am before finishing at approximately 5.30pm, reported Broadcast, citing Overnights TV. In second place was ITV with an audience of 4.5 million followed by BBC2, BBC News and Sky News, which came in fifth with 700,000 viewers.
Crucially, the numbers do not include those watching via digital. Sky reported 12.4 million tuned in to Sky News’ coverage of the funeral across all Sky TV channels, the Sky News app and the Sky News website.
The 27 million peak came as the funeral cortege left Westminster Abbey, where the first service was held, before winding its way past Buckingham Palace towards Windsor Castle, where she was interred.
Meanwhile the average audience during the first service was 26.2 million viewers across all channels.
The numbers eclipsed the 16 million who tuned in to watch as the Queen’s death was announced at 6.30pm on Sept. 8 and those who watched King Charles III’s first address to the nation the following evening, which drew 13.5 million viewers. Those figures equated to an 85% and 82% audience share respectively.
By contrast, coverage of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in July drew 13.2 million viewers on BBC One, making it the most-watched show in the first half of 2022, while the most-watched show of 2021 was the England vs. Denmark soccer game in the Euro 2020 competition, which scored 24 million viewers.
While ITV reportedly charged up to £500,000 (approx. $570,000) for a 30-second commercial during the Euro 2020 soccer game, they – along with other commercial broadcasters – dispensed with all advertising during the funeral.
As for Paramount Global-owned U.K. network Channel 5, it attracted a peak audience of 145,000 to “The Emoji Movie,” which it showed during the funeral as part of its children-oriented broadcasting.
Meanwhile, in Germany an average of 2.91 million viewers (28.7% audience share) watched the entire funeral service between 9am and 6pm local time while 11.54 million are believed to have watched at least a minute of it, according to local newspaper Handelsblatt.