Will the royal wedding (of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle, that is) be the most-watched live TV broadcast of all time? Probably not, for a few reasons, not the least of which is that it's surprisingly hard to get hard data on these types of things. Oh, and there's also the fact that Harry's mother and father, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, set a pretty high bar when they got married in 1981.
So what are the most-watched live TV broadcasts of all time, and where will Meghan and Harry fit in? Let's take a look at the facts.
It's Surprisingly Hard To Come Up With Hard-And-Fast Answers About This Sort Of Thing
If you do a Google search for "most-watched live tv broadcasts" or something similar, you're going to get conflicting results. There may be a lot of reasons for that. For example, not all countries compile their TV ratings the same way (if at all) nor do they report them the same way (if at all). So while the number of Americans who watched, say, the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final may be unambiguous, the number of, say, Jamaicans who watched it may be less clear.
So based on what information we have, how do things shake out?
As it turns out, Muhammad Ali boxing matches may possibly hold the top four spots. According to a 1981 Nevada Magazine report, Ali's "Last Hurrah" match against Larry Holmes in 1980 drew in 2 billion TV viewers worldwide.