24 Interesting Facts About Television Around the World

With the brisk winter weather upon us, people will be huddled up in front of their televisions to spend a cosy night indoors. To start off TV season, here are 24 interesting facts about television from around the world.

  1. A recent Samsung survey found that it isn’t reality TV or soaps that make us most likely to tune in, but documentaries1, with 41% claiming it is their favourite TV genre.
  2. Based on the above, it is probably no surprise that Blue Planet II is currently the most watched show of 2017, peaking with 14.1 million viewers2.
  3. In Australia, the iconic State of the Origin rugby match between Queensland and New South Wales drew in the most viewers of 2017 to date with 4.1 million people3.
  4. Whilst in China, it’s an internet-based “rap reality” show pulling in the viewers. The Rap of China showcase young and feisty contestants hoping for their big break into the world of hip hop, with more than 2.5 billion views to date4.
  5. Back in the UK, Only Fools & Horses was voted the most popular sitcom of all time in Samsung’s poll.
  6. Strictly Come Dancing beat off some stiff competition when it came to the best reality or talent show.
  7. When it comes to those in front of the camera, the USA is home to some of the best paid stars of television. According to Forbes, Dr Phil is currently the highest paid presenter in the world earning a reported $79 million (R1,1 billion).
  8. Sofia Vergara is reportedly the highest paid television actress at $41.5 million (R582.2 million).
  9. And, Kim Kardashian’s business empire means she is the highest paid reality star with a reported fortune of $51 million (R715.5 million).
  10. Behind the camera, Netflix hitThe Crownis the most expensive of all time, costing $130 million (R1.8 billion) to produce5.
  11. In South Africa this year, MultiChoice added subscribers to its growing base, bringing the combined closing base (digital terrestrial television and satellite) to 11.9 million households6.
  12. According to a MyBroadband survey of 1,587 IT professionals and tech-savvy individuals in South Africa, 73.85% of respondents said they were an online pirate, while 51.17% of respondents said they subscribed to a media streaming service7.
  13. This survey also showed that Netflix was by far the most popular streaming service in the country, with 84.85% of users signed up for a Netflix package.
  14. Of those in this survey who did not subscribe to a streaming service, their primary reasons were: All my media needs are taken care of thanks to piracy – 42.27%; I can’t afford it – 38.08%; and my internet connection at home is too slow – 37.53%.
  15. Of the respondents in this survey who did subscribe to a streaming service, 31.65% said they also subscribed to DStv.
  16. American TV show M*A*S*H takes the crown for the most-watched episode ever, with 103 million viewers tuning in for the final ever installment7.
  17. Samsung’s recent survey also shows we’re watching more television than ever, with a fifth of us claiming to watch more TV now than we did five years ago thanks to on-demand technology and viewer’s appetite for binge-watching.
  18. Game of Throneswas voted in the survey as being the most-bingeable show of all8.
  19. Game of Thronesalso hit the top spot when it came to the most hotly anticipated TV show return
  20. Size matters; Samsung research shows that 40 inches was the average TV screen size globally in 2016.
  21. 25% of TVs sold in 2016 had a 50-inch screen.
  22. 90% claim they would like a screen which is 60 inches big.
  23. To date, Samsung has sold 427 million televisions around the world.
  24. Which all makes for a lot of telly watching! Approximately eight years in our life time!9.

According to the Broadcast Research Council of South Africa10, the most-watched shows for April were:

Most-Watched TV Shows in SA in April 2018
Channel and Day Show Viewers
Mon 23 April Uzalo 9289705
Tue 17 April Generations the Legacy 8927752
Tue 17 April Skeem Saam 7851561
Tue 03 April Muvhango 5536114
Wed 11 April 491 Days Book Launch 3031734
Wed 11 April 7De Laan Soap 2852458
Tue 10 April Isidingo: The Need 948254
Mon 02 April Sunfoil Test Series: South Africa vs Aust 884253
Mon 30 April Tropika Island of Treasure 783033
Mon 16 April Scandal 5480679
Mon 16 April Rhythm City 4249611
Fri 06 April Just for Laughs Gags 3769236
DStv (Mzansi Magic)
Thur 19 April The Queen 1493373
Sun 22 April Our Perfect Wedding 1248130
Sun 29 April Abomama 1090747


  1. Samsung survey conducted amongst 2 000 adults in the UK by OnePoll, November 2017
  2. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/blue-planet-2-most-watched-tv-show-david-attenborough-a8042171.html
  3. http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/state-of-origin-game-three-most-watched-show-of-2017-20170713-gxab63.html
  4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-china-blog-41236746
  5. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/the-crown-netflix-most-expensive-show-ever-matt-smith-a7392911.html
  6. https://techcentral.co.za/dstv-grows-subscribers-margins-squeezed/75222/
  7. https://mybroadband.co.za/news/broadcasting/228037-how-many-south-african-netflix-subscribers-also-have-dstv.html
  8. http://uk.businessinsider.com/most-watched-episodes-2016-9
  9. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4186598/How-time-spend-activities-lifetime.html
  10. http://www.brcsa.org.za/april-2018-top-tv-programs/

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