Geek Trivia: The Most Widely Simulcast Television Show Of All Time Was An Episode Of?

Promotional poster for the 50th anniversary broadcast of Doctor Who

Answer: Doctor Who

When television broadcasts are simulcast (broadcast simultaneously in multiple regions/countries), it’s typically because they are either sporting events (Olympic events, international soccer tournaments, etc.) or special events (royal weddings, presidential inaugurations, etc.) that are most interesting to the public when viewed in real time.

Conversely, it’s extremely rare for television shows to be simulcast, as typically the distribution channels and contracts stipulate when episodes will air in which region (an arrangement that frustrates foreign fans of high-stakes, spoiler-laden shows produced in America like LOST and Breaking Bad). On November 23, 2013, however, the BBC pulled out all the stops to shatter the simulcasting barrier in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the world’s most successful sci-fi show: Doctor Who.

To celebrate Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary, the BBC coordinated a simulcast of the anniversary special in a whopping 94 countries and on every continent except Antarctica. In addition to broadcasting in all those countries, the BBC also simulcast it to over 1,500 movie theaters throughout North America, South America, Latin America, and Europe.

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