Figures released in the US reveal that 31.1 million viewers across 18 networks in the US, and millions more tuned in online to watch live coverage of Michael Jackson’s memorial service in Los Angeles on Tuesday. While there are no figures available on the number of South African viewers who watched the memorial service, the media frenzy in the country no doubt ensured a million or two watched the memorial show from beginning to end.
In the US the memorial was carried live on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, Telefutura, Telemundo, Univision, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, Headline News, BET, E!, MTV, VH1, VH1 Classic, TV Guide Network and TV One. The service secured a combined household rating of 20.6 and a 56%- share, with a total of 23.6 million households watching.
Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997 recorded 33.3 million U.S viewers, while President Reagan’s burial in 2004 registered 35.1 million viewers. President Obama’s inauguration this year, totalled 38 million.
The Jackson memorial was also heavily viewed online. Internet traffic at the time worldwide ranged from 19 percent to 33 percent above average, according to Akamai Technologies. There were a reported 9.7 million streams from CNN.com and 5 million from Yahoo News,