Times When More Than 500 Million People Tuned in to Watch the World Change

Many events have left a lasting impact on the world, and some of them have captured the attention of millions of viewers. Betway Insider took a closer look at these memorable moments that have drawn huge audiences. It’s quite surprising to see how many times over 500 million people have come together to watch a single event. Let’s dive into some of these significant occasions.

First Moon Landing (1969)

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Lunar Module pilot of the first lunar landing mission, poses for a photograph beside the deployed United States flag during an Apollo 11 Extravehicular Activity (EVA) on the lunar surface

In 1969, the First Moon Landing became one of the most iconic moments in human history. On July 20th, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, part of NASA’s Apollo 11 mission, made history by becoming the first humans to set foot on the moon. As Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface, he uttered the famous words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” capturing the monumental achievement of the mission. This event was watched by an estimated 600 million people around the globe, uniting humanity in a moment of awe and wonder.

The landing on the moon not only marked a significant technological and scientific milestone but also symbolized the culmination of the intense space race between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War era. The successful mission demonstrated the possibilities of human exploration beyond Earth and sparked imaginations worldwide about the future of space travel. The images and footage of the moon landing, transmitted back to Earth, remain some of the most enduring symbols of human achievement and the potential for further discovery in the vast expanse of space.

Funeral of Princess Diana (1997)

Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, 1997

The funeral of Princess Diana in 1997 was a global event that touched the hearts of millions around the world. Following her tragic death in a car accident, an outpouring of grief and compassion was evident as an estimated 2.5 billion people tuned in to watch the solemn proceedings. The ceremony, held in London, not only paid tribute to Diana’s life and her humanitarian work but also reflected the deep connection and affection the public felt for the “People’s Princess.” Her passing marked a moment of collective mourning and a reflection on her impact on the world, making her funeral one of the most-watched broadcasts in history.

Live Aid Concert (1985)

The Live Aid Concert in 1985 was a groundbreaking global event aimed at raising funds to combat the Ethiopian famine. Organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, the concert was held simultaneously in London’s Wembley Stadium and Philadelphia’s JFK Stadium, featuring a stellar lineup of artists including QueenU2Led Zeppelin, and Madonna, among others.

An estimated 1.9 billion viewers across 150 countries watched the live broadcast, making it one of the largest-scale satellite link-ups and television broadcasts of all time. Live Aid not only raised significant funds for famine relief but also set a precedent for future charity events, showcasing the power of music to unite people across the globe for a humanitarian cause.

Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer (1981)

The Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 was a fairytale event watched by an estimated 750 million people worldwide. Held at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, the lavish ceremony captivated audiences with its grandeur, from Diana’s iconic 25-foot train wedding dress to the pomp and pageantry of British royalty. This momentous occasion, often referred to as the “wedding of the century,” not only celebrated the union of Charles and Diana but also symbolized a moment of national pride and global fascination with the British Royal Family, marking it as one of the most watched broadcasts in history.

Barack Obama’s Inauguration (2009)

Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States by Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr. in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2009

Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009 marked a historic moment as he became the 44th President of the United States and the first African American to hold the office. An estimated global audience of over 1 billion people watched as Obama took the oath on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, symbolizing a significant moment of change and hope for many around the world. The event was filled with anticipation and emotion as Obama’s message of unity and change resonated across nations, making his inauguration not just a national event but a global spectacle that captured the attention and imagination of people worldwide.

FIFA World Cup Finals

The FIFA World Cup Finals stand as one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the sporting world, drawing audiences exceeding 500 million viewers globally. Every four years, this football (soccer) tournament culminates in a final match that captures the collective attention of fans and non-fans alike as nations rally behind their teams in a display of national pride and passion for the sport. The finals are celebrated for their dramatic moments, showcasing the pinnacle of athletic prowess, teamwork, and the spirit of competition. The event not only brings together diverse cultures but also highlights the unifying power of sports, making it a truly global phenomenon.

2008 Beijing Olympic Games Opening Ceremony

Performers dance on the surface of an illuminated sphere in the middle of National Stadium Friday, Aug. 8, 2008, during the Opening Ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing

The Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games was a spectacular display of China’s rich history and its rise as a global power, watched by an estimated 1 billion people around the world. Held at the National Stadium, known as the “Bird’s Nest,” the ceremony featured a stunning fusion of traditional Chinese culture and cutting-edge technology, including a breathtaking fireworks display and performances that narrated the story of China’s civilization. This grand event set a new standard for Olympic opening ceremonies, showcasing China’s ability to host a world-class event and marking the start of an unforgettable edition of the Olympic Games.

The Wall: Live in Berlin

The Wall: Live in Berlin concert stands out as a historic event closely tied to the Berlin Wall’s legacy. Held in July 1990, this monumental concert captivated an estimated 18% of the global population. With 350,000 fans gathering at the venue and an astonishing 1 billion viewers tuning in from around the world, the event not only celebrated the fall of the Berlin Wall but also symbolized the power of music to unite people across divides. The sheer scale of the audience, both on-site and at home, underscores the concert’s significant impact and its lasting place in history.

Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii

Publicity depicting Elvis Presley, announcing the broadcast of his live concert Aloha From Hawaii in Australia

Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii demonstrates that capturing a massive global audience isn’t solely a modern phenomenon. Back in 1973, Elvis Presley made history with his groundbreaking concert at the Honolulu International Centre in Hawaii. This event marked a milestone as it was broadcast via satellite to 40 countries, making Elvis the first solo artist to achieve such a feat. Astonishingly, 1 billion people tuned in to watch the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll perform, showcasing Elvis’s enduring appeal and the event’s significant impact on live entertainment.


These events, from historic concerts to significant ceremonies, have brought together millions of people from around the world. They remind us of the power of shared experiences to unite and inspire us across different cultures and distances.