Estimates were too high: less than a billion saw Queen’s funeral

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Estimates way too high
Less than a billion watched Queen’s funeral

Viewing figures would often say something about social relevance – including the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. It has more than four billion viewers. Now the BBC is rowing back and talking about less than a billion people. Not even half of Britons watch.

Experts from the British public broadcaster BBC estimate that fewer than a billion people worldwide have seen Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral on television. They didn’t want to commit to an exact number due to a lack of data. But the estimate of 4.1 billion people, more than half of the world’s population, given by many news websites in the run-up to the funeral, is probably far too high.

“Less than a billion seems more likely, but I wouldn’t give a figure because there just isn’t enough data,” BBC pundit Charlotte McDonald told the radio program More or Less.

As a result, with around 29 million viewers, even in Britain less than half (43 percent) of the population tuned in. In other Commonwealth countries there were fewer. In Canada, with about 13.2 million people, just over a third and in Australia with about 5.2 million people, a fifth of the population was in front of the television. In the US, the big event drew approximately 11.4 million viewers to their screens. This corresponds to about three percent of the population.

According to the BBC, there are no or only very vague figures available for countries such as China and India, but also for many African countries. But it is considered unlikely that the share of viewers there is higher than in countries where the head of state was the queen.

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