January 29, 2019

The winner of this contest is usually the Super Bowl which is nine of the Top 10 most-watched broadcasts in U.S. television history. The exception?

The 1983 series finale of “M*A*S*H” is still the most-watched TV episode ever with 105.9 million viewers, according to Nielsen. But the Super Bowl and “M*A*S*H” aired on one network. Add multichannel news events, and you get a different picture.

Figures vary as to how many Americans watched the moon landing, but the most cited number – 125-million – is positively cosmic. A firmer figure is the roughly 118 million people who watched President George H.W. Bush announce airstrikes against Iraq in 1991.Three years later, about 95 million tuned in to watch a low-speed car chase featuring O.J. Simpson in a white Bronco.

But TV ratings in 2018 are so passé. The 2012 YouTube video of Psy’s “Gangnam Style” has garnered 3.2 billion views . . . and counting.

SOURCE: Washington Post Magazine, 1/20/19