I recently had to find out that the German term "Public Viewing" basically means something completely different in English, than in German. Now I'm looking for a term that English native speakers would naturally use.

In German the term "Public Viewing" is used for a public event, where people are gathering to watch a football match live on more or less big screens. Since the football world cup was held in Germany in 2006 such events have become quite popular. Many bars and restaurants have "Public Viewing" evenings – but in some cities there are also events with several thousands of spectators attending.

Through wikipedia I found that maybe "Public Screening" would be the term to use instead – however I'm not sure if that is really the case. Now I'm looking for the right term – any help or pointers would be appreciated.


2 Answers 2


Public "screening" implies a recorded or captured event reproduced or distributed for viewing by a disparate audience. You're watching a screen or a projection of the event.

The implication of a public "viewing" includes events taking place live and in person and not for view outside the venue where the event is taking place. As there is no device mentioned, you could be viewing virtually anything in a place reserved for you to be during the activity.

There seems to be no reference to the temporal in either case although live events would be without delay caused by the technology required for the event availability.

  • So if I understand your answer correctly – neither of the two terms fits the event type described in the question? Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 11:03
  • @tillinberlin - In the case you mention, public screening would be the "correct" term although both definitions are loose enough to be easily understood.
    – Stan
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 11:46

It also depends on the location. But depending on the situation, you could easily just say watching the game. Like: "I always watch the game at my local sports bar." "Do you want to go watch the game with me?"


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