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The 20 ‘Most Impactful Televised Events’ of All Time

Sony and Nielsen have collaborated on a study to determine the ‘most impactful televised events’ in history and perhaps not surprisingly, the September 11th attacks came in at #1.

The goal of the study was to determine an “Impact Score” to show which events “caused visceral reactions that are embedded in our memories.” This is the stuff that became monumental, primarily because of what we saw on TV.

They figured out how many people watched each event live, asked people if they remembered details about what they saw and asked if they remembered talking about watching it with others.

–Here’s the Top 5:

1.) The Attacks of 9/11 (2001)

2.) The Levees Breaking During Hurricane Katrina (2005)

3.) The O.J. Simpson Verdict (1995)

4.) The Challenger Space Shuttle Disaster (1986)

5.) The Killing of Osama bin Laden (2011)

–The rest of the top 20:

6.) The O.J. Simpson White Bronco Chase (1994)

7.) The Japan Earthquake (2011)

8.) The Columbine Attacks (1999)

9.) The BP Gulf Oil Spill (2010)

10.) Princess Diana’s Funeral (1997)

11.) The Death of Whitney Houston (2012)

12.) The Capture and Execution of Saddam Hussein (2006)

13.) Barack Obama’s Acceptance Speech (2008)

14.) The Royal Wedding (2011)

15.) The Assassination of John F. Kennedy (1963)

16.) The Oklahoma City Bombing (1995)

17.) The Bush / Gore Election Results (2000)

18.) The L.A. Riots (1992)

19.) The Casey Anthony Verdict (2011)

20.) The Funeral of John F. Kennedy (1963)

The oldest thing in the Top 10 is the Challenger Disaster in 1986. That’s probably because the study employed a fair “cross-section” of adults 18 and older, and you’d have to be 35 or older just to remember that.

The study notes that the assassination of JFK was #2 among those over 55, but it didn’t crack the Top 10 among younger demographics.

Also, women were more “impacted” by the “Friends” finale and Prince Williams’ wedding, but neither of those registered with most men.

By the way, the poll was conducted in February, the same month Whitney Houston died. That may explain why her death placed so high.

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