The stateside numbers for Friday's ceremony marks a 6 million increase from the 17 million that tuned in for Prince Charles and Diana's wedding. Viewership was spread out over the 11 channels that broadcast the nuptials in the U.S. In comparison, more people watched the royal wedding than the latest season premiere of Dancing with the Stars (22 million), but less than the season premiere of American Idol (26.2 million).
Leading the way in viewership was the Today show, which netted over 9.6 million viewers from 7-9 am on Friday, according to the Hollywood Reporter. That was the NBC show's biggest single-day audience since the day after President Obama was elected in 2008. Good Morning America averaged 8.7 million viewers in that time, marking its biggest ratings in at least 20 years.
An estimated 27 million people in the U.K. watched the ceremony, about 1.4 million fewer than those who watched the 1981 nuptials. Unsurprisingly, the BBC had the lion's share of eyeballs, snagging 20 million viewers.
Additionally, it's unlikely that the number of people who tuned in worldwide hit the much-discussed target of 2 billion, as predicted by British culture secretary Jeremy Hunt in early April.
PBS' blog, the Rundown, has a breakdown of how difficult hitting that number would have been, given that it would have required a quarter of the world's population to tune in.