Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding received blanket positive coverage across media in the UK and around the world and it turns out that it also showed the power of linear television. Around 18M people in the UK watched the big day yesterday across a number of channels.
BBC One, which covered the Windsor wedding between 9am and 2pm, averaged 8.7m viewers over the five hours, hitting a peak audience of 13.1m around 12:30pm during the middle of the ceremony.
On commercial rival ITV, which ran coverage between 9:25am and 3pm, an average of 2.5m viewers watched with a peak of 3.6m watching just after 1pm when the happy couple departed St George’s Chapel.
Elsewhere, Sky News, Sky One and BBC News averaged around half a million viewers and took the total peak audience to just below 18m.
It was considerably the most watched television event of the year in the UK. To put into context, the FA Cup Final, widely considered the closest sporting event to the Superbowl in the UK, was watched by an average of 6.7m viewers and a peak of 8.7m people later in the afternoon.
Despite this, Harry’s and Meghan’s big day was still watched by less than watched his brother, Prince William walk down the aisle with Catherine Middleton. The 2011 wedding peaked with more than 19m viewers on BBC One and 6m viewers on ITV.
Elsewhere, around 4m people watched the wedding in Australia. Seven Network came up trumps down under in the Commonwealth country with nearly 2m people watching on the commercial network, slightly above the 1.5m people who watched on rival Nine Network.
Watch out for ratings in the U.S. soon.